Teamsters Leaflet Consumers Ahead of Smart & Final Negotiations
Teamsters are taking part in a National Day of Action today in support of nearly 700 Chedraui/Smart & Final workers in Southern California. More than 50 Teamsters locals are leafleting customers at Chedraui-owned stores throughout the country to demand the Mexican grocery giant negotiate a fair contract for the newly organized members of Teamsters Local 630.
“Teamsters are standing together today to call on Chedraui to protect American jobs. We are demanding the company negotiate a first contract in good faith that grants our members the wages, benefits, respect, and security they deserve at Smart & Final,” said Lou Villalvazo, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 630 in Los Angeles. “Chedraui must acknowledge these workers’ union rights.”
The leafleting action is taking place ahead of negotiations scheduled for tomorrow. In addition to bargaining for a fair first contract, Teamsters are also fighting plans by Chedraui to close two recently 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. Workers have not been guaranteed positions at the new facility, regardless of their experience or tenure with the company.
“Today, the company will witness the overwhelming support for our fight, not just here in California but all across the U.S.,” said Daniel Delgado, a 20-year veteran from the Riverside warehouse facility. “Our union brothers and sisters are standing with us. The public is on our side. In communities all over the country, people are waking up to the injustice we are facing at this company.”
Grupo Comercial Chedraui, which is publicly traded on the Mexican stock exchange, owns three store banners in the U.S. with approximately 375 total locations, including Smart & Final, El Super, and Fiesta Mart.
Teamsters Local 630 members rallied in August and September to demand fair treatment from Chedraui, emphasizing the protection of American jobs, living standards, and the negotiation of a fair contract.
To date, the Teamsters have filed seven unfair labor practice (ULP) charges against Chedraui/Smart & Final, alleging violations of federal labor law. These allegations include anti-union retaliation regarding facility relocations and employee terminations, interference with workers’ right to organize, and bad-faith surface bargaining.