For the past 6 months, we have been trying to negotiate a pharmacist contract with Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions locations throughout Southern California. Unfortunately, during this same time, these companies have been committing unlawful labor practices. The company’s continued unfair practices are forcing us to take action including a possible unfair labor practice strike. Preparations are being made and we want to share with you what your rights are under your contract.
Your contract states the following:
1. It shall not be a violation of this Agreement and it shall not be the cause for discharge or disciplinary action in the event an employee refuses to go through or work behind any lawful, sanctioned, primary picket line, including the lawful, sanctioned, primary picket line of the Union party to this Agreement, and including such picket lines at the Employer’s place of business.
2. For the purposes of this Section, a sanctioned picket line shall be one which is sanctioned by the Local Union signatory to this Agreement and the Southern California Food and Drug Council.
3. The Union shall not command, order or direct employees to exercise their rights under the foregoing clause but shall have the right to advise employees whether the strike or picket line is sanctioned, as to the facts of the particular labor dispute, and as to the employee’s rights under the foregoing clause. Neither shall the Employer command, order or direct employees to refuse to exercise their rights under the foregoing clause.
4. Each individual employee shall have the right to make his free choice to cross or not to cross any sanctioned picket line as defined above. The Union shall not abridge or interfere with the employee’s individual privilege of decision with respect to this matter.Article 14 Section L. UNION PRINCIPLES, UFCW contract with Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions, and Ralphs.
The contract clearly states that you have the right to not cross a picket line at your work location and you cannot be disciplined by the company for doing so.
UFCW Local 135 only wants you to know what your contractual rights are. Per the contract, we are not commanding, nor ordering, nor directing you to go on sympathy strike alongside your pharmacists. We are only notifying you that you have the right to stand in solidarity with them on the picket line. The choice to walk out with the pharmacists is completely up to each of you to decide.
As is always the case for UFCW Local 135 members in good standing, those that experience financial hardship because of this, can apply for hardship funds.