East County News Service
July 27, 2016 (San Diego)—A boycott of six Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons grocery store locations is underway starting this week, the United Food & Commercial Workers Union in San Diego has announced. If no contract agreement is reached by August 8th,the union has voted to call a strike against all of the stores’ locations throughout southern California.
The boycott locations include two in East County: the Vons store at 8011 University Ave. in La Mesa and the Albertsons at 9831 Campo Road in Spring Valley.
Other locations include Ralph stores on Mission Center Road in Mission Valley and on Twin Oaks Valley Road in San Marcos, a Vons store on Santa Fe drive in Encinitas, and an Albertsons on 3rd Avenue in Chula Vista.
Union leader Mickey Kasperian states in a post on the UFCW webpage, “Your Union attended bargaining sessions on July 20 and 21 fully prepared to bargain a mutually acceptable contract. Albertsons/Vons and Ralphs did not share this intention and their proposals continue to fail to recognize your hard work, the companies’ profitability and the increasing cost of living in Southern California. This is not acceptable.”
ECM news partner 10 Newsreached out to Vons, Albertsons, and Ralphs. Vons and Albertsons spokesman Carlos Illingworth said the boycott "is an unfortunate distraction that won't impact the outcome of the negotiations…We're doing the hard work at the bargaining table and that's where everyone's focus should be." He added, "We're dealing with complex issues, such as wages, pensions and healthcare. We're bargaining in good faith and giving negotiations the time and thought that they deserve. We are working hard to find a settlement that is fair to our employees, good for our customers and allows our company to remain competitive."
Negotiations will resume on August 1, 2016. Meetings for all members have been scheduled for August 8th to vote to accept or reject management’s offer. Workers previously voted back in June to strike if a deal is not reached.