Vicki Locke is fearless. As a shop steward for 17 years, she’s not afraid of management, although she says a couple of managers really don’t like her. She’s a fighter. In October of this year, she will have been with Albertsons for 24 years. She has worked all over the county including North Park, Santee and Coronado, but for the past four years she’s closer to home in Alpine (Store 6704).
“I got around over the years, but when this contract is up, I’m thinking of retiring,” she said. “I’m looking for someone who wants to step up [to become a steward]. I have a couple of good ones. I need someone younger, someone who will be in the stores for a long period of time.”
She encourages new members to join the union and to go to our new member meetings. She pushes them in the right direction if they want to move up or move to a different department and lets them know that if they have problems to “come see me before taking other steps.”
She supports fellow union members. She talks to them, encourages them to ride share to meetings, and lets them know to talk to other members if they see someone doing something they shouldn’t be doing to let them know before they get into trouble.
She sees her position as a steward as important for the workers, and says sometimes workers have questions about their rights during probation and she lets them know they have the same rights, but there’s a different way of approaching it.
“If they’re being harassed, I like them to go with the flow, get past probation, take notes, etc. As long as you have detailed notes. Sometimes management doesn’t even talk to people who file grievances and they are denied. I tell them to refile.
“If they [management] were doing the right thing, they wouldn’t have to worry about me,” she said. “I’ve learned over the years that they have never been at store level. I think I’ve only met one who became management and then as soon as things started going south they jumped back into the stores.”
“I like all people to be treated fairly,” Vicki said. “I see so many who get flustered and I like to help them take the right steps so they don’t end up leaving.”
She enjoys fighting for her co-workers and for her friends.
“I just think that we have to support everyone that’s union. Any of our union brothers and sisters. We’ve got to support each other.”
When not at work, Vicki has her hands full with her seven grandchildren when at home in Campo.
“I have grandkids that I’m always with. I have one that’s 20, and I’m always with the three-year-olds. I have two identical boy twins and a great granddaughter that just turned three.
“We love to go to the library, walk around the lake. Go to the park. My 11-year-old granddaughter is learning horse husbandry. Three I’ve raised. The 14-year-old likes to play paintball, so we do that sometimes. He nails me every time.”
She likes to volunteer at the high school and elementary school. It gives me time to spend with them while they grow up.
In her “spare time” Vicki is an avid reader. “I read a lot of biographies, I just finished a whole series on China. And I like mysteries. I go to the library a lot. They have four dogs, two cats and a fish. I have a husband of 42 years in May. That’s a job in itself.”