Warehouse Workers Rally at Corporate Offices to Demand Respect
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(COMMERCE, Calif.) — Teamsters Local 630 members at two Chedraui-owned Smart & Final grocery store warehouses rallied outside the company’s corporate offices in Southern California today to demand job protection, just wages, and a union contract.
“For too long this company has jerked us around with its bad faith negotiations,” said Lou Villalvazo, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 630 in Los Angeles. “We are out here today to protect American jobs. We are calling for a fair first contract that will provide our members with the wages and respect they deserve. Chedraui needs to wise up to the fact that these workers will not back down until the company listens to their demands.”
Teamsters are fighting plans by Chedraui USA, the U.S. subsidiary of the Mexican grocery giant Grupo Chedraui, to close two unionized Smart & Final warehouses in Commerce and Riverside, Calif., and force longtime workers to reapply for employment at a new warehouse in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
“We will not allow Chedraui executives anywhere – be it here in the U.S. or at the company’s global headquarters in Mexico – ignore our members’ demands,” said Tom Erickson, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division. “Chedraui must honor their sacrifices by ensuring their jobs are protected and union rights are upheld. Just because you move workers to a new warehouse doesn’t mean you can rewrite the rules.”
The more than 600 Smart & Final warehouse workers are backed by the local community in their demand that Chedraui bargain a first contract that provides job security and union representation. Elected officials and community groups marched alongside the Local 630 members prior to the rally.
“This company has ignored my brothers and sisters for too long so today we brought the fight to Chedraui’s doorstep,” said Bobby Perez, a 30-year veteran at Smart & Final. “We will keep up the pressure until the company recognizes our union, protects our jobs, and finally gives us the wages and respect we so badly need.”
For more than 80 years, Teamsters Local 630 has represented California workers in warehousing, food services, liquor, food processing, dairy, and more industries. Find out more at teamsters630.org.