UFCW Boss Accused of Harassment, Discrimination

Three women, who are current or former UFCW employees, are accusing Mickey Kasparian, a powerful UFCW boss, of discrimination and/or harassment. The most serious allegations are from a recent retiree; she alleges that Kasparian repeatedly demanded she engage in sexual acts with him. She has filed a lawsuit against not only Kasparian but also the UFCW because the union did nothing to stop his abuse.

Three women, who are current or former UFCW employees, are accusing Mickey Kasparian, a powerful UFCW boss, of discrimination and/or harassment. The most serious allegations are from a recent retiree; she alleges that Kasparian repeatedly demanded she engage in sexual acts with him. She has filed a lawsuit against not only Kasparian but also the UFCW […]






Trying to Kill Jobs?

UFCW is supporting a ballot measure in Oregon to hike business taxes by $3 billion, the largest tax hike in state history. According to a government report, the regressive tax would likely lower incomes, raise prices, and kill jobs.

Measure 97 would be the biggest tax increase in Oregon’s history, generating an estimated $3 billion a year for public education and other state services.

The initiative would levy a 2.5 percent tax on many companies’ Oregon sales over $25 million. But Measure 97 exempts some types of businesses and applies differently to others…

Economists say how much businesses pass along would depend on their market power. Cable television companies, for example, may pass along much of the cost. Private utilities such as Portland General Electric have regulated monopolies and a legal right to pass along higher costs – including taxes – to ratepayers.

Other states exempt wholesalers from consumption and sales taxes, or they tax wholesale trade at a lower rate. Because Measure 97 does not, some economists expect a “pyramiding” effect in which added costs are stacked atop one another for some products and services.

Conventional sales taxes in other states usually exempt food from taxation. Measure 97 does not. So if businesses do pass along higher costs, it could produce higher grocery bills.

The legislative study — which was based on an approximation of Measure 97 — concluded it would both dampen wage growth and raise prices.

UFCW is supporting a ballot measure in Oregon to hike business taxes by $3 billion, the largest tax hike in state history. According to a government report, the regressive tax would likely lower incomes, raise prices, and kill jobs. Measure 97 would be the biggest tax increase in Oregon’s history, generating an estimated $3 billion a year for […]






UFCW Weakened Itself

The UFCW’s 2004 strike against California grocery store chains damaged the unionized stores and helped non-union grocery stores. And in the process of weakening the grocery chains, the union weakened itself.

They [Aldi and Whole Foods] took advantage of a grocery landscape that has been in upheaval since the 141-day work stoppage and lockout, which cost Ralphs and Albertsons $1.5 billion in sales and helped retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target expand their grocery aisles.

“That last time, it increased the opportunities for other chains geometrically,” said Burt Flickinger III, managing director of consulting firm Strategic Resource Group. “The unionized operators, and the unions, were hit so hard financially.”

Since then, the big chains have hemorrhaged market share. In 2004, Ralphs, Albertsons and Vons/Pavilions (which was acquired by Albertsons in 2014 as part of its Safeway purchase) held nearly 60% of the Southland’s grocery trade, according to the Strategic Resource Group. That share has plunged to about 33% today.

These days, Unified Grocers Inc. in the City of Commerce, a wholesale cooperative which mainly serves independent stores, controls 16.6%, according to the Shelby Report, which tracks the industry. Wal-Mart is right behind with 11%, followed by Stater Brothers at 8.9% and Trader Joe’s with 6.2%.

A strike presents an opportunity to grocers to break the shopping habits of consumers. Once someone flees to another chain, they often don’t go back, analysts said.

The UFCW’s 2004 strike against California grocery store chains damaged the unionized stores and helped non-union grocery stores. And in the process of weakening the grocery chains, the union weakened itself. They [Aldi and Whole Foods] took advantage of a grocery landscape that has been in upheaval since the 141-day work stoppage and lockout, which […]






Harming their Company

UFCW members asked their community to boycott their stores because the negotiation process was taking longer than they liked.

A strike by local grocery workers could be on the horizon, but for now, those workers don’t want you stepping foot in their San Diego-area stores.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 are boycotting area stores. Picketing began outside at least five stores this week…

A UFCW Local 135 spokeswoman said 14,000 union members could go on strike in roughly two weeks…

Regarding the UFCW Local 135’s contract demands, [Albertson’s Carlos] Illingworth said: “We’re dealing with complex issues, such as wages, pensions and healthcare. We’re bargaining in good faith and giving negotiations the time and thought that they deserve. We are working hard to find a settlement that is fair to our employees, good for our customers and allows our company to remain competitive.”

UFCW members asked their community to boycott their stores because the negotiation process was taking longer than they liked. A strike by local grocery workers could be on the horizon, but for now, those workers don’t want you stepping foot in their San Diego-area stores. The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 are boycotting […]






UFCW Loses Again

An appeals court in California recently affirmed a trial court’s permanent injunction prohibiting the UFCW from trespassing in Walmart stores. In 2012 and 2013, the union had been harassing Walmart by staging demonstrations both inside and outside the company’s stores in California. Interestingly, the union admitted that its actions violated federal law. The union will now have to pay the legal costs Walmart incurred on the appeal.

An appeals court in California recently affirmed a trial court’s permanent injunction prohibiting the UFCW from trespassing in Walmart stores. In 2012 and 2013, the union had been harassing Walmart by staging demonstrations both inside and outside the company’s stores in California. Interestingly, the union admitted that its actions violated federal law. The union will […]






UFCW Loses

Walmart requested and received an injunction against the UFCW prohibiting “future trespasses and nuisances” from a Florida circuit court. The UFCW appealed, but an appeals court panel ruled unanimously against the union.

A state appeals court Friday upheld a trespassing injunction sought by Wal-Mart against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. A three-judge panel of the 5th District Court of Appeal said the case is part of a broader dispute about demonstrations that the union has held against Wal-Mart in various parts of the country.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. sought an injunction in Orange County circuit court against “future trespasses and nuisances,” Friday’s ruling said. A circuit judge granted the injunction, spurring the union to appeal.

Walmart requested and received an injunction against the UFCW prohibiting “future trespasses and nuisances” from a Florida circuit court. The UFCW appealed, but an appeals court panel ruled unanimously against the union. A state appeals court Friday upheld a trespassing injunction sought by Wal-Mart against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. A three-judge […]






Does Membership Pay?

A recently-negotiated contract between the UFCW and a grocery chain will result in lower wages than Walmart pays. And, of course, Walmart workers don’t have to pay union dues.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has long spearheaded the move to organize Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer. Despite years of friendly media coverage, and hundreds of millions of dollars spent (mostly from the forced dues of employees on fixed incomes), the protests have not succeeded in increasing unionization.

The value proposition that unions offer potential members is that they’d be able to negotiate better employee pay than employees could achieve on their own. This view goes largely unchallenged in today’s culture, and declining unionization rates are often pointed to as a factor in the decline of the country’s middle class. But is this view correct or just politically correct?

Consider last week’s agreement between the UFCW and the retail giant Kroger. In a three-year contract that covers 8,500 Indiana employees, the agreed-upon hourly wage rate is $8.50, with a top hourly wage for seasoned employees of $13.90. (These wage rates are before union dues deductions.)

Compare that to Wal-Mart, which the UFCW group OUR Wal-Mart claims exploits employees. Walmart’s starting wage is $9, which quickly increases to $10 after a six month training program… And its top wage for a cashier in Indiana is $17. Kind of undercuts the argument that unions are needed to negotiate “fair” wages.

So who is the winner from unionization contracts like Kroger’s? Crony union bosses, who sell their members the bill of goods that they can negotiate higher pay then pocket the millions of dollars of dues money paid by their members. It’s a scam.

A recently-negotiated contract between the UFCW and a grocery chain will result in lower wages than Walmart pays. And, of course, Walmart workers don’t have to pay union dues. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has long spearheaded the move to organize Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer. Despite years of friendly media coverage, […]