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UPDATE: Raley's, Nob Hill Workers Go On Strike

The employee union has sent a message to its members to set up picket lines beginning today

Workers at Raley's and Nob Hill supermarkets walked off the job Sunday morning in a strike over wages and medical benefits.

A message on the website of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 tells members they have been unable to reach an agreement with Raley's management and tells employees to set up picket lines at the stores.

It says it is "impossible to reach a settlement with a company that does not want one."

Mike Henneberry of the UFCW 5 says this is a fight they are going to win.

"This strike was provoked by mangement who came in negatively months ago with an agenda that never changed," he commented. "The agenda was to diminish the medical plan that has taken decaeds to build up and to reduce wages. These are things we depend on to keep our families healthy and happy and we need to stand up and fight. We are an important part of the community. These stores are in our neighborhoods. This is a bigger issue than just us. This is also an issue for the community and customers."

Picketing workers at the Nob Hill market in Walnut Creek were passing out fliers Sunday morning that asked shoppers to support their "neighborhood grocery workers."

The flier stated the workers have been "forced out on strike because their employer wants to destroy their family medical benefits that have taken years to build." It also stated their employer wants to reduce take home pay.

The flier listed two nearby Safeway stores and asked shoppers to go there during the strike.

Picketers at the Raley's store in Pleasanton were not able to comment other than to say they got the call at 3:00 a.m. to be out at the stores to picket at 6:00 a.m.

The union also filed unfair labor practices complaints on Thursday, including allegations that Raley's managers have been interrogating and intimidating union members, union officials said.

"We look forward to returning to the bargaining table when Raley's
management has adopted a more constructive attitude," a statement from UCFW presidents Jacques Loveall and Ron Lind said Sunday. "Our goal from the
beginning is to negotiate a fair agreement serving the needs of both Raley's
and its union employees."

Raley's officials rejected the allegations.

"We're very frustrated that it's come to this, this has been going on for 15 months," said spokesperson John Segale. "We submitted our last and final offer four weeks ago and we never heard from the union, they never let their employees vote on that."

"So we had no choice but to implement our wage package this morning," Segale said.

Segale said Raley's urgently needs to cut costs in a "fiercely competitive" market. He said the Sacramento-based chain, which includes Raley's, Nob Hill Foods and Bel Air stores, has closed five stores in the past year and seen the opening or expansion of 240 non-union stores in its markets since 2008.

The conditions imposed Sunday apply only to wages, Segale said. The store moved to freeze pay increases for two years and eliminate the premiums paid for employees working Sundays, night and holidays, but retained the one week of paid vacation and four paid holidays employees currently receive, he said.

Raley's owns 128 stores in Northern California and northern Nevada as well as 78 Raley's superstores, 22 Nob Hill markets, 20 Bel Air markets and eight Food Source warehouses.

In the East Bay, there are Raley's stores in Benicia, Fremont, Newark and Pleasanton. There are Nob Hill markets in Alameda, Livermore, Martinez, San Ramon and Walnut Creek, according to the company's website.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report

Marvin H November 06, 2012 at 06:32 PM
The mural should have been covered up in my opinion. While there is no national law about this, along with voters wearing clothing or buttons to the polls that endorse a candidate, many localities do have laws against having this within a certain distance of the poling place. I have no idea what the law is for that area. As for the Black Panther Party, anyone can go to a polling place and hang around as long as they are not in the way or causing a problem. It's still a free country Tom.
Californicated1 November 06, 2012 at 06:46 PM
411.com also had an entry for a Robert Livesay, age 40, living in Benecia, but that was the only entry. All the other sites pointed to San Deigo. And as for where I have been, I have not lived such a provincial, nor has my family. My paternal grandfather made a career out of the Army after serving as an enlisted man during the 1930s, going to college after getting discharged and then being drafted to fight WWII as a commissioned officer and serving all over the world where the Army ordered him to serve after the war. So my father and his siblings followed my grandfather in his various assignments from Germany, Japan and even Italy. And eventually, that grandfather was assigned to command the ROTC program at Denver Public Schools, and my father wound up meeting a homesteader's daughter from Loveland, Colorado in Boulder and that's where I was born. And if you are tied to the land, then perhaps that's all that you see given from what I have seen even in my mother's family...and not much else. Kit Carson County for me is a place I would love to retire to when I am done seeing the rest of my world, but I'm not going to be tied to it because previous generations of my mother's family were tied to it.
Californicated1 November 06, 2012 at 06:46 PM
And being tied to California for 7 generations is both a blessing and a curse from what I have seen. Most families that can tie themselves to the Bear Republic are pretty much corrupt these days if they are in government, both in their home districts, in Sacramento and even beyond that even if they serve in Federal capacities, where they are equally detrimental to the rest of us in the United States as they are here in California. And sometimes that California-bred corruption seeks out other corruption, such as the Boxers to the Rodhams in Chicago, and the Pelosis to the D'Alessandros of Baltimore, where too much "wheeling and dealing" led to the problems that the rest of the country now has.
Californicated1 November 06, 2012 at 06:47 PM
I'm not sure who to blame when the Bear Republic was admitted into the Union as the State of California without being carved up like the Republic of Texas had to be, but it needs to happen now, so that the corruption inside California is diminished so that it does not impact the rest of the Union. So can we blame you and your family, sir?
Janice P Ellis November 06, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Regardless of what you think you know, Richard, your comment is disgusting. Why condemn the southern slaveowner or slavery? Incredible that you could even bring yourself to write something like this. But, hey, I guess that was a prevailing mindset of slaveowners at the time. Got my land - check, got my property - check, got my slaves - check, check, check. Excellent example that we see only what we want to see.
Tom November 06, 2012 at 07:01 PM
The exact same person from the new black panther party was at the polling place in the last general election with a bully club. This is well documented and for some reason Eric Holder decided to not prosecute. Either way based on this person's past documented behavior I would think it reasonable to not allow him to be an observer. Of course he should be allowed to vote but is this really who you want observing onbehalf of your party? I would not want an abortion nut observing on behalf of the R party.
Californicated1 November 06, 2012 at 07:03 PM
As you pointed out, Mr. H., slavery also has a social and emotional component as well as an economic component, as some descendants in our midst can probably relate to better than I, because some of my ancestors did own slaves in Virginia and North Carolina before the Civil War, but I am at least 9 or 10 generations (there have been 18 of my family in North America since 1668 when my ancestor from Lincolnshire signed and served a term of indenture and received land for it in Virginia) removed from that branch that owned the slaves, being the descendants of the poorer relations, which meant that my branch had to earn their living and not rely on the labors of who they owned. As I was only looking at slavery through the economic component, you saw it through its emotional and social components as well. But when it comes to the Helots and the Serfs and all the other folks out there in some sort of servitude, we also have to be aware that there are many facets to that kind of labor. And it is short-sighted of me to address only the economic component and none of the other components of slavery and for that, I apologize, because I may never know sometimes how others take my leavings, no matter how seriously or even light-hearted or with the usual and requisite grain of salt--unless your blood pressure can't take that.
Michelle Kye November 06, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Well, I will be supporting the union workers at Raley's and Nob Hill. I hope management negotiates and everyone can get back to work. Meantime, I'll be shopping at Safeway.
Tom November 06, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Comparing slavery to our working conditions now is an insult to slaves. Of course slavery is vile but that was resolved by Mr. Lincoln and those who fought to purge it from our country. We struggled with rights since that time but I do not see the value of slavery in comparisons to the society we now live in.
Richard Mellor November 06, 2012 at 07:46 PM
David talks about the 8 hour day and weekends being fully established 100 years ago. He must have gone to school at the Stalin School of Falsification. This is abject nonsense. A cursory glimpse at almost any history book shows that. Bye the way, david says he had to do a "gig" at a pilot project. What is a "gig" David? Are u a musician? You're just a dilettante david. You owe all you have to those that fought the pinkertons and reactionary thugs to bring you a better life. Also, all this worship of capitalism and the market, there's one reason US capitalism got rich so fast, slavery. They used labor power they never paid anything for for 300 years. "Union busting is a field populated by bullies and built on deceit. A campaign against a Union is an assault on individuals and a war on the truth. As such, it is a war without honor. The only way to bust a Union is to lie, distort, manipulate, threaten, and always, always attack." "The enemy was the collective spirit. I got hold of that spirit while it was still a seedling; I poisoned it, choked it, bludgeoned it if I had to, anything to be sure it would never blossom into a united workforce...." Confessions of a Union Buster: Martin Jay Levitt
Tom November 06, 2012 at 07:48 PM
btw for those who hate Fox, you must admit they did cover this republican behavior: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/06/oregon-elections-worker-fired-after-allegations-ballot-tampering/ I call for full prosecution. Not matter the party this can not be tolerated.
Kenny November 06, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Doesn't sound much different than some union tactics. Comparing today's labor force to slave labor is quite a stretch to prove your point. And I would bet you aren't winning any points in your arguments. Try being a little more tactful and less angry.
Robert Livesay November 06, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Californicated1 My family has been in this country since about 1650. Believe me they new what living off the land was. Also most in recent times have been Republican as I am. Never voted for a Democrat in my life. My first election years was 1954. Voted ever since. .Many great people in my family. From Governor of Texas to a very famous madame in St. Paul, Nina Clifford. Look her up. The Gov. was Sayers. I have always considered living in California a privelege. Loved Reagan.
Tom November 06, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Another great moment in union history..... Nothing like being caught lying when the paper trail catches up to you: http://dailycaller.com/2012/11/03/amid-sandys-devastation-long-island-union-sent-written-demand-to-florida-utilities-pay-dues-or-stay-home/
Richard Mellor November 06, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Thanks for the attempts at psycho analysis Kenny, very Berkeley. The comparison was used as they are both exploitive systems of production in which one participant lives off the productive Labor of the other. There are differences of course as with the capitalist mode of production the worker is not owned in total and receives a a portion of the wealth his labor creates back in the form of wages. The advantage is that they can be let go any time the process does not bring the required rewards.
Kenny November 06, 2012 at 09:41 PM
.....and the worker has the option to leave at anytime when his rewards are not up to snuff. Kinda left that part out. Thanks for the explanation though.
Jon Spangler November 06, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Kenny, In our system the workers never have as many "rights" (or, as you put it, "options") as the owners of the businesses for whom they work. Unionization is one way that workers can partially--but not completely--rebalance the scalers of workplace justice in their favor. Quitting is rarely a viable option when workers earn a steadily-decreasing share of what they are worth compared to the value of what they create for their employers.
Richard Mellor November 06, 2012 at 11:06 PM
@Kenny Are you a working person Kenny? Do you work for a wage income? And of course a worker can leave an employer. But there are consequences for that. They have a home, rent, medical needs kids. That's like saying we have free will when someone sticks a gun in our face and demands $5. Sure we can tell them to eff off. We can refuse to pay up. So we have free will in the abstract but we don't choose the conditions under which we exercise it. I didn't leave it out as you imply, it is not free choice when what accompanies it is starvation and/or the loss of ones means of subsistence. You can leave the exploitation of an individual but not the class as a whole. Better to organize and collectively struggle for the necessities of life for all so even employers like you or if you're a worker that hasn't the sense to wade through the spin, can benefit.
J.Rogers November 06, 2012 at 11:39 PM
RALEY'S OPEN YOUR BOOKS IF YOU MUST HAVE CONCESSIONS???PROVE YOUR CASE???
Richard Mellor November 07, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I agree with J Rogers that we demand the books be opened. But what if they are broke? They siphon of money all the time. Look at the trillions in offshore accounts. I think we reject concessions entirely. There's plenty of money in society. We spend trillions in these wars that have nothing to do with defense. Iran's never invaded anyone in centuries. People die like flies, and young American's die or have their futures destroyed fighting these wars for the likes of Bechtel, Halliburton and other global corporations. The coupon clippers on Wall Street stash away billions. it's a matter of who owns this wealth and how we allocate it. A crucial step in driving back this offensive of the 1% is the building of an independent working people's party that can challenge the dictatorship the two Wall Street parties over our political life.
Kenny November 07, 2012 at 12:27 AM
I thought at first you were Socialist leaning but it is clear you are very much a Socialist. And you called me "very Berkeley. When this "working people's party" takes over (hypothetically of course) what happens to the Corporations? Who works and who directs the workers? Assuming all the bad people in this country are "Wall Street parties" how do you explain the people that vote for them, be they Democrat or Republican? Do you honestly feel the heads of Raleys or any company for that matter, are out to starve out the very people that make them successful?
Richard Mellor November 07, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Kenny, you are raising some very important points. The US is the only industrialized nation that has never had a party of the working class. If you take the British workers. They too supported the liberals at a time when British capitalism could produce the goods for some of the highest skilled and best paid, a more affluent lifestyle. But as British imperialism began to lose it's global dominance, it became less able to do pacify this buffer zone if you like and undermined this section of the workjng class.. The LP arose out of the decline in this global power. As they continue to drive us back to pre-1930's conditions, the US workers will at some point erupt. What is holding back these developments is the role of the trade Union leadership at the highest levels who have the same world view as the corporate heads, they just want them to be a little nicer, not so brutal and they have a comfortable living, they don't have to work under the concessionary contracts they push their members to accept in the interests of "shared sacrifice".. They could easily have offered an alternative political formation to these two corporate parties. But they will not do so, not without major pressure form below.
Richard Mellor November 07, 2012 at 01:25 AM
To me, as workers are forced by sheer necessity to fight back that at some point takes organizational form, a movement or campaign develops around some issues and at some point workers say, "lets elect on of our own". We have head small city wide or local workers and farmers parties. This I think will develop objectively, it's inevitable. And a political party makes laws, actually governs, it's not like a union. It's impossible for a worker, teacher, firefighter, whatever to run for office it costs billions of dollars and you have to be part of the machine. An independent party will change all that. I have more thought on your points but will get back. Thanks for raising them.
John November 08, 2012 at 06:31 AM
To Mr. H, do remember or conversation about us being able to vote on Mr.Teels proposed contract. I also told you I would vote no on it. It wasnt because of the union that I came up with it, out was because its the some terms he implemented inn my fellow workers already. Like I told you and Raleys management if I took the benifits raleys wants to impose my wife a full time college student wouldnt be covered for another year, which could change yearly based on whatever bottom line the company needed. Right now our benefits are worked out with a panel consisting of workers and union personal and then voted on. Them management posed this question to me "couldn't you pay for her extra" I said sure but they don't offer that in our package, plus you guys wasn't to take away as our premiums that would help pay those added cost. I posed a question to them and asked outs that fair? To my suprise they said no. All of you that met me know Ive just been asking you folks to not shop the meat dept, today management has been told to step up the heat so to speak and threatened to tow our cars away if we picket.
Autumn Johnson (Editor) November 08, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Rally update from Alameda Patch: http://pleasanton.patch.com/articles/rally-at-alameda-nob-hill-draws-hundreds-5e6d1d31
reggieqh1 November 08, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Sorry John please expound on you position (I am having a hard time understanding what you are trying to say in all honesty) .. I have a question, what is Premium pay is that Time and a half or how is it determined? And the Raise freeze for 2 years n this economy is fair to be honest. Because unlike the private sector where individuals get raises based on merit , the Union would have to give these raises across the board to all employees. That is expensive in this economy. You have contracts that guarantee certain things for the terms of that contract, that is the benefit as well as detriment to the whole contract issue. while in the private sector we have had wage freezes for years the unions have benefited from their contracts to keep receiving raises. Other unions have made concessions in pay terms in this economy. I don’t feel Raley’s should cut your Insurance, unfortunately I knew this would happen w/ the passage of Obamacare. That reason is why I haven’t crossed the picket line thus far, I hope I don’t hear any more of the shopping cart ramming for those that DO chose to … And when I need to use the Pharmacy I hope I won’t get any hassle as that is my life we are talking about.
EC November 11, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Rather be a dead lion than a live dog. Sometimes we have to stand up for what we believe in period. If we don't we are not true to ourselves and let fear take over our lives and control who we are and how we live our ideals. I stopped to shop on Sunday when I saw them picketing and asked some questions. Then I chose to go to another store to do my shopping. Things are tough enough out there without employers digging their heels in.
EC November 11, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Ya all the little 'sheep' who will do whatever they are told to do, roll over and take it. Do your history; without the unions we'd be back in the dark ages.
Autumn Johnson (Editor) November 12, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Story update: http://pleasanton.patch.com/articles/negotiations-resume-between-raley-s-nob-hill-foods-and-union-representatives
Autumn Johnson (Editor) November 13, 2012 at 06:27 PM
UPDATE: Agreement reached http://pleasanton.patch.com/articles/raley-s-and-nob-hill-reach-agreement-with-union

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