United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) representatives throughout Northern California have been bargaining with Lucky (food) Stores for months now. They thought they had reached an agreement that reportedly contained some real advances. Then, as this letter reveals, Lucky’s bargainers suddenly reneged at the very last minute. Why? What happened?
According to this letter from Locals 5 and 648 representatives, it seems that Jacques Loveall, president of Local 8, which has jurisdiction from Bakersfield up to the Oregon border, called Lucky’s management and urged them to back out. The belief is that he had negotiated an inferior deal so this agreement would make him look bad.
One Local 8 member explained: “We have nothing from Loveall regarding Savemart (the Lucky brand name in that region). We as Local 8 members have seen absolutely nothing regarding a Savemart TA (tentative agreement. Loveall did sign a TA with Safeway. All the fight back against Savemart/Lucky came from the Bay Area Locals 5 and 648.”
Loveall is not only president of Local 8; he is also an international vice president! The representatives of Locals 5 and 648 should mobilize their members to visit their Local 8 sisters and brothers in Savemart and Safeway to explain how Loveall is not only undercutting the Local 5 and 648 members; he is selling out the Local 8 members on the cheap. They should mobilize to make Loveall resign and leave the union for good!
Meanwhile, it seems a strike at Lucky stores is possible. If it happens, then there is no reason that Locals 5 and 648 cannot demand even more from Lucky, which is happy to play off one local against another. Win a contract that allows all Lucky workers to actually live (= pay rent or buy a house) in the area where they work!