Possible Raley's strike creates tense times for grocery employees

11:14 PM, Nov 2, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - A long-running labor dispute between Raley's and the union that represents the grocery chain's employees is coming down to a critical deadline; employees could strike this weekend if the two sides fail to reach an agreement.

As the deadline for a strike nears, some employees said they don't like the pressure they're getting from Raley's.

Produce manager Dave Turner got a letter from the grocery chain that spelled out what will happen in the event of a strike. The letter warned him of the possibility of future layoffs and reduced hours.

Turner said he doesn't appreciate the tone of the message.

With negotiations between Raley's and the union at an impasse, employees prepare for a possible strike this weekend. Turner said he and his fellow employees feel the tension.

"They're trying to break down union members with fear, intimidation," Turner said.

The letter also came with a form to fill out that would let Turner resign from the union. The letter, signed by Raley's senior vice president of operations, suggests resigning from the union would allow Turner to keep working even if the union calls a strike.

"At this particular time, on this weekend, it just seems like a last ditch effort for Raley's to destroy whatever faith we have," Turner said.

Nonetheless, Turner insists he can't accept the terms Raley's is currently offering, and if nothing changes by this weekend, he plans to strike.

"After all this time of me being there, they want me to now take less, it doesn't seem right to me. It doesn't," Turner said.

Raley's and the union met again Friday to try to reach an agreement. Both sides agreed to a media blackout regarding details of the meeting; talks will resume Saturday morning.


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