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Grocers, Strikers Dig In Their Heels

October 21, 2003

Instead of taking out full-page ads in an attempt to justify the unjustifiable, as they did on Sunday, and trying to entice shoppers back with newspaper coupons, Ralphs, Albertsons and Vons need to be spending that money doing right by their workers. I'm sure I am not the only one who feels solidarity with the strikers and who feels only condescended to by the big chains. My family will not be going back to those stores any time soon.

Kathy Harris-Zmudka

Moreno Valley

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As a former union negotiator, I am amazed at all the statements I'm reading about how lucky the market workers are to have health care and that they shouldn't object to paying part of the cost. They have been paying the cost all along. In order to get health care they have bargained away salary and other benefits during past negotiations. So the employers' present position is asking for a rollback, despite good earnings. I doubt if those in management are cutting their own health care or salaries. Their main cry is that some companies are not unionized, so those companies can take advantage of their employees any way they wish. They want to do the same. This is not progress but a return to the 18th century.

George Ives

Los Angeles

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Note to strikers and strike organizers: On Sunday, I was told by a striker that if I went into my local Ralphs, I'd "better never show [my] face in another Ralphs ever again. We don't need you." I know you're doing what you feel you have to, and I'd never begrudge anyone that right. But when this is over, you're going to need all of your customers to come back. If we don't, there won't be any jobs for you to strike over. A little common courtesy goes a long way.

Lee Watters

Marina del Rey

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In order to support the union's strike against the supermarkets, I'm told to buy my groceries at nonunion stores. What's wrong with this picture?

Marylyn Taber

Chatsworth

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There are a lot of people who live in close proximity to the grocery stores that are being picketed by strikers. We are now being bombarded nonstop by drivers going by the stores and honking their horns to show their sympathy for the strike. Could you people perhaps pump your fist in the air or shout some encouragement instead? Enough of the horn honking!

John Humble

Santa Monica

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One would have to wonder why the grocers cannot even come to the table for an agreement. Reading Safeway Chairman Steven Burd's complete arrogance explains it (Business, Oct. 17). He alluded to "Cadillac benefits." He stated that the offer was as good as it got and vowed to battle rising health-care costs.

I have a message for Burd. It is not the responsibility of the workers to combat the rising health-care costs, but that of the health-care agencies. Investors should review this man's arrogance carefully and evaluate his future worth for grocer productivity and human relations in communities that matter to real people.

Stan Nelson

Redondo Beach

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