Countdown to 2019 Grocery Contract
The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 encompasses San Diego and Imperial Counties. Members include grocery workers, retail workers, casino employees, pharmacists and more.
All of our union reps are members of UFCW Local 135 too. We take pride in building strong relationships with the members we are sworn to protect.
“As president of UFCW Local 135, I pledge to devote my office to the preservation and protection of the jobs and benefits we have won over the course of decades.”
Mickey Kasparian marches in the vanguard of a bold generation of Union leadership. As President of the largest union in San Diego County, he works tirelessly on behalf of more than 13,000 workers who belong to UFCW Local 135.
Mickey also serves as the President of the UFCW Western States Council, Vice President of the UFCW International Union, as well as President of the San Diego Working Families Council.
Mickey’s values are rooted in his work experience as a Union member, beginning in the Bronx, New York, and later furthering his career as a Meat Cutter and Meat Manager for Safeway and Vons. He served as Local 135’s Secretary Treasurer, Organizing Director, and Political Director before his election to Presidency.
As President of UFCW Local 135, Mickey was thrust into the front lines of the Southern California Grocery strike and lockout in 2003/2004. More than 70,000 workers were in the epic 20 week dispute, one of the largest and longest disputes in American history. More than 11,000 of those workers were in San Diego and relied on Mickey’s leadership to lead them through the crisis.
During his tenor as President, Mickey has negotiated some of the finest contracts in the retail industry, all which include excellent medical benefits and retirement. He also sits on the UFCW’S National Health Care Committee. He has developed one of the most powerful Political Programs in our Country, and is recognized by Elected Officials as a respected leader. In 2014, The Voice of San Diego named Mickey one of the Top Ten Most Influential People in San Diego.
“Mickey has everyone’s respect, said Rabbi Laurie Coskey, Former Executive Director of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice. “People take notice when he enters a room. He’s an upstanding, tell it like it is kind of guy. If you’re doing the right thing, if you’re fair and honest, then you earn Mickey’s respect and loyalty. No wonder Mickey has such a profound influence on his union brothers and sisters, business executives, elected and faith leaders. His uncompromising commitment to workers has influenced hundreds of thousands of families across our nation. Mickey is a leader’s leader!”
His leadership innovations are geared to energize, educate, and unite his union membership. He strongly believes in bringing unions, faith groups, and community activists together to support and ensure the equality of women, people of color, and all working families in our City, State, and Country.
As Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW Local 135, Richard had brought all of his past experience as a labor organizer, policy maker and activist. While at UFCW Richard has been at the negotiating table in 2016 for Southern California's Master Food and Pharmacy contract, Stater Brothers contract and Gelson's contract. In 2017 Richard negotiated contracts for both CVS and Food 4 Less. And in 2018, Richard helped secure a great contract for Viejas workers and is currently at the negotiating table with Rite Aid and Apotekare dispensary, the first of it's kind cannabis negotiations for Local 135. Richard not only helps negotiate contracts for our members, he has also helped lead in organizing campaigns such as 2016's CVS organizing drive.
In the community, Richard Barrera, a resident of South Park, is married and a parent of two sons, one who recently graduated from high school and the other who recently graduated from college. Both are products of San Diego Unified. Richard currently serves on the Board of the United Way of San Diego and the Cesar Chavez Service Club and is a former board member of the San Diego Workforce Investment Board and the Center on Policy Initiatives. He has previously served on the Board of the San Diego Cooperative Charter School and coached in the North Park Little League. Richard is a graduate of El Cajon Valley High School, holds a Bachelor's degree in History from UCSD, and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
“There's one thing I want to make sure everyone knows when they work for Food 4 Less and that is, it’s great to be a union member."Bea Durruthy, Steward
“I love the thrill of being side by side with other union members! I've been a long time member and I love my union!"Iggy Ponce De Leon, Retiree and 38 year member