Alpha Beta Supermarkets announced today that it will close its Fullerton warehouse, prompting about 150 Teamsters who work at the facility to storm their union's headquarters in Orange and demand negotiations to save their jobs.
The demonstrators contended that union officials were aware of the planned closure but failed to alert them of it during the eight-week walkout by Teamsters and meat cutters, which ended Sunday.
Bill Wade, Alpha Beta's senior vice president, would not elaborate on when the warehouse will be closed but said Teamsters leadership had been informed before negotiations began that "unless competitive wage rates for newly hired employees was a part of any new contract, the warehouse would be phased out and eventually closed."
During a heated meeting with the protesters, Jerry Scott, head of Teamsters Local 952, denied that union leaders had prior knowledge of the closure. He said the union will meet with Alpha Beta officials this week to try to reverse the decision to shut the warehouse, where 185 people are employed.