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Congressional Oversight Letter Slams Smart & Final for Unfair Labor Practices


Teamsters Commend Rep. Gomez for Exposing Unlawful Behavior at Mexican-Owned Grocery Chain

Press Contact: Daniel Moskowitz Phone: (770) 262-4971 Email:

(LOS ANGELES) – Today, the Teamsters applauded Representative Jimmy Gomez’s (D-CA) oversight request sent to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Department of Transportation (DOT), outlining serious concerns regarding Chedraui/Smart & Final’s unfair labor practices (ULPs) and calling for regulatory, legislative, or enforcement actions.

The letter comes as the grocery chain plans to close two unionized Smart & Final warehouses in Commerce and Riverside, Calif., terminating more than 600 warehouse workers and forcing them to reapply for employment at $10-$12 less per hour at a new nonunion mega warehouse in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The workers represented by Teamsters Local 630 are currently on strike, protesting the mass layoffs and other ULPs by the company.

“Smart & Final and their parent company Chedraui think they are above the law, but they’re in for a rude awakening. We will stop at nothing to make sure our members’ jobs are protected,” said Lou Villalvazo, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 630. “Instead of negotiating a fair contract, refraining from unfair labor practices, and operating as a high-road employer, Chedraui USA CEO Carlos Smith has chosen to disrespect his workers in the name of corporate greed. The Teamsters will keep up the pressure in the streets and in the halls of government to hold this company accountable.”

In the letter, Rep. Gomez uses Smart & Final’s bad behavior as a case study in unfair practices that may currently operate outside the existing labor and cross-border trucking provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), stating that Congress should consider whether new solutions are necessary to address these unfair practices as it prepares for a potential review and term extension of the USMCA in 2026. Today marks four years since the passage of the USMCA.

“The clock is ticking for Chedraui/Smart & Final to do right by its workers,” said Daniel Delgado, a 20-year veteran at Smart & Final who is currently on strike. “Carlos Smith has a choice to make. He can treat his workers fairly, earn a reputation as an industry leader and supporter of good middle-class union jobs, or he can become another corporate villain, prompting champions of workers’ rights like Rep. Gomez and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to push for changes in future trade deals that penalize corporate criminals on both sides of the border.”

The two warehouses where Teamsters are currently on strike serve as distribution centers for over 250 Smart & Final grocery stores in California, Nevada, Arizona, and northern Mexico. This is the second ULP strike held by Teamsters against the company. The strike coincides with a growing trend of unrest in the grocery industry, where large grocery chains continue to report record profits, often at the expense of their workers and the public, as the cost of food escalates.

“We won’t stand by while Chedraui/Smart & Final disrupts our members’ lives. Teamsters are united in this fight, and we’re not backing down until American jobs are protected,” said Tom Erickson, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division.

The Teamsters are currently pursuing a wide range of ULP charges before the National Labor Relations Board. Chedraui/Smart & Final is also accused of bad faith bargaining and maintaining an illegal proposal that violates California Assembly Bill (AB) 647, which went into effect in January and guarantees grocery distribution center workers retention rights when the facilities at which they work undergo a change in control.

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