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Supermarket Workers Poorly Served by Union

August 22, 2004

Kudos to Michael Hiltzik for finally saying what others have been afraid to admit: The leadership of the grocery workers union bungled the Southern California strike and hurt its members ("Costs of Dispute Hang Over Grocers," Golden State, Aug. 5).

Refusing to recognize the realities of grocery competition and the threat posed by new nonunion retailers, the union leadership kept its members away from their jobs and paychecks for 141 days. When it was all over, they emerged with a contract no better than what they could have had on Day One.

All the while, interestingly, union leaders kept drawing their paychecks.

Now, the same union is rattling its sword again, preparing to fight the same battle in Northern California with exactly the same unproven methods.

Grocery workers deserve better than this outdated, ill-advised and self-serving behavior from their leadership.

Kate Keena

Mission Viejo


Safeway's Steven Burd and Ralphs' John Burgon are getting what they deserve for their tactics during the grocery strike.

Burd's hard line during the strike cost Safeway millions of dollars and, judging by results months later, continues to cost.

Burgon's admitting that Ralphs hired back many union workers to staff stores after pickets were lifted is deplorable, and the alleged falsifying of names and Social Security numbers is unethical.

Robert Malconian Jr.


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