Safeway workers gathered this week to protest about Maryland jobs and one company’s actions.
Safeway workers held protests in front of three pop-up storefront hiring halls set up next to company stores to recruit and train so-called “replacement workers” to staff the supermarkets in the event of a work stoppage.
The workers — members of United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 — also condemned management intimidation of employees for exercising their free speech rights to express their views on bargaining and what they want in a new contract. The current collective bargaining agreement expires March 31.
“Safeway is earning record profits and sitting on a pile of $180.5 billion in cash, yet rather than share the fruits of our labor with the workers who made their success possible, the company is trying to drive down our members’ economic standing — in many cases, even below the poverty level,” said Local 400 President Tom McNutt.
“Management might think that setting up scab hiring halls right next to the stores where our members work will intimidate them into accepting a contract that puts the American dream far beyond their reach, but instead it’s had the opposite effect,” McNutt said. “We are more united than ever and more dedicated to doing whatever it takes to ensure that retail jobs in the Washington, DC, area create a ladder to the middle class with health and retirement security.”1f98