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Related Categories: San Francisco | Labor & Workers
"Don't Shop Safeway / Vons" Contingent At MLK Day March in SF
by Z
Monday Jan 19th, 2004 3:32 PM
Standing united to save affordable health care, workers, community members, public officials and leaders in the faith community came together throughout California this weekend, on the 100th day of the strike/lock out of the 70,000 Safeway/Vons, Kroger/Ralphs and Albertsons workers, to show their resolve and to commemorate the memory of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
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"We will win this strike for all California families and all working families," said John Burnett, 25-year Kroger/Ralph’s employee and a member of UFCW Local 1167 at a San Jose rally.
"We will never let Safeway CEO Steve Burd and the other markets eliminate health care benefits for 70,000 families,” said Ed Tillerson, a 40-year Kroger/Ralph’s employee and member of UFCW 1167. “We miss holidays with our families, we work weekends, we give quality service to our great customers. Steve Burd has never worked a day in his life in a grocery store. We’re the ones who do the work that keeps shoppers coming back for their family groceries. Now Mr. Burd is doing his best to destroy lives of 70,000 families. We have too much invested; our families have too much at stake to let him do that. My advice to Steve Burd: get real or get out. This strike could have been over months ago with a fair settlement for everybody."

Thousands of workers and community members joined together on Saturday in Orange County creating a human chain around a Vons/Safeway store demonstrating their solidarity to save affordable health care. Over a dozen striking and locked out workers with union, political and religious leaders were arrested in a show of civil disobedience.

Arrested clergy member John McAndrew of the St. Cecilia Church in Tustin said, "If these companies succeed in destroying affordable health care, all workers in America will be at risk of losing their health benefits. The UFCW members on strike against Safeway/Vons and locked out by Albertsons and Kroger/Ralphs are holding the line for America's health care.”

"That cause is worth going to jail," said striking Ralphs worker Lori Marrujo. "Martin Luther King Jr. Day reminds us of the struggle that often has to be waged for justice. He inspired me to act in non-violent protest today by what he said the day before he was shot at a rally helping the striking sanitation workers, ‘Let us rise up with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.’"

http://www.ufcw.org/hold_the_line/facts_and_news/mlk_events.cfm
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