One Thousand March Through South LA in Support of Respect and a Fair Union Contract for El Super Grocery Workers
—March coincides with El Super’s parent company -Grupo Comercial Chedraui- Board of Directors meeting in Mexico—
Los Angeles— On Monday, April 4, El Super grocery workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union marched together with more than 1,000 supporters -through the streets of South Los Angeles- to demand Respect and a Fair Contract. The march coincided with El Super’s parent company – Grupo Comercial Chedraui’s – Annual Meeting of its Board of Directors in Xalapa, Mexico.
“We need a fair contract so we can take care of our selves and our families,” said Lydia Flores, an El Super cashier. “Sometimes, my coworkers have to work two jobs to get by. I have a son who is ill. I can’t do that because I have to take care of him as well. We need fair pay and enough paid sick days so we can take care of our families,” Flores said.
El Super union members have been fighting to win a fair contract since September 2013. El Super/ dba Bodega Latina is a Latino-focused grocery chain with 54 stores in the U.S. It is a subsidiary of Chedraui – Mexico’s third largest retailer.
“El Super needs to respect the will of its workers and negotiate a fair agreement that rewards our members for their hard work,” said Ricardo F. Icaza, President of UFCW Local 770.
In December of 2014 the unions commenced a national consumer boycott in protest of the Company’s unfair labor practices and treatment of its workers. The boycott has had a significant impact. It has reached over 2 million shoppers and contributed to negative same store sales at El Super markets during 2015 – its first annual negative same store sales since it began reporting financial results in 2010.
Huntington Park Mayor Graciela Ortiz voiced her support for El Super workers at a rally held outside an El Super store in Huntington Park. “Our community supported El Super workers when they called for a consumer boycott. Last April, the City of Huntington Park passed a resolution endorsing the El Super boycott. As residents and leaders in our community we will continue to hold companies responsible in providing adequate living wages to the workers that serve our community,” Mayor Graciela added.
El Super workers are asking to share in the company’s prosperity, which they helped create. Indeed, although Chedraui reported $4.5 billion in net sales in 2015, much of drawn from US sales, it does not pay its workers a fair wage, offer affordable health insurance or provide sufficient hours to support a family. The El Super workers and their union the UFCW are seeking just that – fair pay, adequate paid sick days, stronger seniority protections, and a 40-hour guarantee for full-time workers.