El Super workers who are members of UFCW Locals 324, 770, 1428 and 1167 traveled to Arizona last week to amplify their boycott of El Super Grocery stores and to bring their message of the company’s poor treatment of workers to Phoenix consumers. They were joined by community activists and members of UFCW Local 99 in protesting El Super’s refusal to negotiate for a fair contract.
“We just want livable wages, not poverty wages,” said Southern California El Super worker Flora Castaneda, who was among the group that traveled to Arizona.
Six hundred UFCW members have been working without a contract since September, 2013. In response to the company’s steadfast refusal to provide their employees with a fair contract, union El Super workers called for a consumer boycott of the grocery chain beginning in December 2014.
El Super is a 49-store grocery chain in the American Southwest, owned by Grupo Comercial Chedraui, Mexico’s third largest retailer. Seven stores in southern California currently are union, represented by UFCW Locals 324, 770, 1428 and 1167. The employees are working together to achieve adequate paid sick leave, seniority rights, guaranteed 40-hour work weeks for full-time employees and a fair wage in a new contract.
Unfortunately, rather than working cooperatively to meet their employees’ needs, El Super focused its efforts on persuading union members to vote out their union. The company held captive audience meetings conducted by El Super CEO Carlos A. Smith, pushing for a decertification vote. The workers were not fooled. On December 12, 2014 they voted – by a more than 3-1 majority – in favor of their union.