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American Stores to Support Berry Workers

May 30, 1997|(Stuart Silverstein)

American Stores Co., parent of the Lucky supermarket chain, plans to issue a statement today supporting the right of the state's strawberry workers to organize into a union without fear of retaliatory discrimination. The statement, while calling for no specific action by Salt Lake City-based American Stores, provides a psychological boost to the United Farm Workers union in its efforts to organize 20,000 strawberry pickers in California. In December, Southern California's Ralphs Grocery Co. chain issued a similar statement. Separately, Paul Richardson, the general counsel of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, said he will seek a court order today to restore the jobs of 15 strawberry pickers who were not rehired by their previous employer this spring, allegedly because of their union activities. Richardson last week also filed an administrative complaint against the employer, Tsukiji Farms of Watsonville, alleging that it engaged in unfair labor practices to thwart union organizing.

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