Union Grocery Workers to Rally for New Contract Monday, Feb.28 at Ralphs on Sports Arena Blvd

by on February 28, 2022 · 6 comments

in Labor, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Union grocery workers are rallying today for a new contract at Ralphs on Sports Arena Boulevard today, Feb. 28 at noon. The union contract for almost 9,000 San Diego workers expires on March 6 and the rally is to show the companies and public at large that these workers continue to be essential and that they deserve a new union contract that reflects the service and sacrifices that they have made.

The union that represents the workers is United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 135, and the contract that expires covered workers at Albertsons, Gelson’s, Ralphs, Stater Bros, and Vons in San Diego County. The union contracts covered approximately 60,000 workers in Southern California.

UFCW Local 135 President Todd Walters stated:

“These essential workers served with honor and made tremendous sacrifices for our country. They kept the supply chain flowing during the pandemic, and in many cases, they paid the ultimate price. These union members went above and beyond, and they deserve to be fairly compensated for their sacrifices and the value they have brought to their companies.”

Walters will speak at the rally along with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.

Despite grocery companies like Kroger (Ralphs parent company) doubling its profits during the pandemic to as much as $4 billion, stores remain understaffed, essential workers underpaid especially given the health risks they face every day, and store safety is still a major concern for both workers and shoppers. The goal of this coordinated negotiation is to secure a contract with:

  • Fair wages for essential workers
  • Improved safety and security
  • Better staffing for better service
  • Stable and predictable scheduling

UFCW Local 135, has a membership of approximately 13,000 workers and nearly 7000 retirees throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties. Members consist of workers in various fields including grocery & retail; health, pharmacy & dental; meat & sugar processing; gaming; and cannabis. UFCW Local 135 is part of the 1.3 million-member strong UFCW International.

For more info contact Brent Beltrán, Communications Director, UFCW Local 135 (619) 866-8595, bbeltran@ufcw135.com

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Shawn kitlinger March 1, 2022 at 4:44 pm

Worked at a grocery store overnights stocking shelves, it was so gross, mice jumping out of boxed pasta, rat feces everywhere, just gross, it all looks pretty on the shelves, but I saw it coming in the backdoor, those boxes of of bulk crappy food, cock-roaches running all over when I lift the pallets, I am dirt poor, but I only shop at peoples-much respect to them,
God Bless,


Frank Gormlie March 2, 2022 at 6:35 am

So Shawn, are you blaming the workers for the mess you describe? Or the grocery stores? Isn’t it management’s responsibility to keep a clean workplace?


Amie Kaiten March 1, 2022 at 7:24 pm

Most of them did not go to college and they are complaining about a job that offers:
above average wages
excellent medical benefits
the ability to move up and make $30+ a hour.
I have a college degree and work currently for $21/hr. with barely there benefits, sorry, don’t feel sorry for them at all. The dollar store I frequent the employees make $13/hr. they should strike.


Frank Gormlie March 2, 2022 at 6:39 am

Amie, your comment is strange. So, you don’t support the union grocery workers because they make “above average wages, pension …” etc and you don’t and you went to college. How do you think they got these “above average wages”? By the good graces of the corporate bosses? Doubtful. If the workers have anything (and I doubt your descriptions of “excellent medical benefits”), it’s because they have a union and stick together.


Vern March 2, 2022 at 7:46 am

Amie, just for perspective:

“… Michael Witynski, the CEO and director of Dollar Tree, does pretty well for himself. According to Wallmine, he receives a compensation of $3,731,690 a year. He has also sold $4,073,990 of Dollar Tree stock in the last six years, leaving him with 21,953 units, or $3,689,871, in the company. This gives him a net worth of $11.5 million…”

“… As Chief Executive Officer at DOLLAR GENERAL CORP, Todd J. Vasos made $16,452,823 in total compensation. Of this total $1,341,718 was received as a salary, $6,075,000 was received as a bonus, $4,544,937 was received in stock options, $4,403,178 was awarded as stock and $87,990 came from other types of compensation. This information is according to proxy statements filed for the 2020 fiscal year…”

Then compare: $30/hr = $62,400/year +/-


Sorry not Sorry March 2, 2022 at 9:00 am

It sounds like Amie should not be so resentful and go work at the grocery store.

Most of what all workers have nowadays, (vacation pay, retirement plans, 40 hour work weeks, etc.) came about because of union workers negotiating and/or striking with oppressive employers who wanted to dictate every aspect of an employees life. If a majority of employers want to get and retain good help, they have to offer somewhat what other employers are offering in the same field. You should be supporting these union workers instead. If their wage increases by a few percentage points, yours may also.


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