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Dominick's Workers Vote Overwhelmingly to Strike

Dominick's workers voted overwhelmingly Sunday night to reject Safeway Corporation's contract offer and authorize their negotiating committee to call a strike if the company fails to come up with a fairer contract offer.
UFCW graphic - 'Many Faces, One Voice'

Dominick's workers voted overwhelmingly Sunday night to reject Safeway Corporation's contract offer and authorize their negotiating committee to call a strike if the company fails to come up with a fairer contract offer. Union officials announced the vote results around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, and announced that their negotiating team will be contacting the company about next steps in for contract negotiations immediately.

Thousands of Dominick's workers gathered at three different sites across metropolitan Chicago tonight to debate the company's offer, which called for give-backs in wages, health care and benefits. Workers and union officials charge Safeway with intimidating workers to take their contract offer, which would create a two-tier wage system for workers, gut seniority, and ratchet up health care costs.

Workers have also charged Safeway management with implementing a series of 'cost-saving' and marketing changes -- including the deployment of poorly received in-house product branding -- that has hurt profits. They charge management with seeking to compensate for it's own failures on the backs of its workers.

The strike vote could put as many as 13,000 area workers at local Dominicks food stores on the picket line.

Some workers agree that the company offer was 'garbage' but voted against the strike anyway, fearing the loss of income during what could be a bitter strike. Other workers have charged the company with deploying a classic 'divide and rule' strategy that pits part-timers against full-time workers and seeks to undercut rank-and-file solidarity.

Most workers and union officials rejected that strategy in Sunday's vote, and clerks, meatcutters and other union workers are calling on Dominick's customers and the general public to boycott company stores and support their efforts to win a fair contract.

"How much is enough profit?" asked one Dominick's worker after the strike vote. "The owners haven't cut the millions they make from our work. We're just asking for a fair wage and decent benefits. We workers are what makes the company profitable. We keep their doors open and build good will with their customers. We deserve better, and we're willing to strike to get it."

For more background, see the links below.

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13,000 Dominick's workers are attempting to bargain a fair contract with the supermarket giant. The workers are represented by UFCW Locals 881 and 1546.

Safeway bought the Dominick's chain three years ago, cut over 20,000 customer service hours that hurt workers and hurt business. Now, Safeway -- the most profitable and effiecient supermarket operator in the country -- expects Dominick's workers to take huge concessions that would destroy the lives of current employees and leave future workers with inferior wages and benefits.

Background News Stories:

UFCW News: Industry Operators Show Interest in Buying Dominicks

UFCW News: Safeway Targets Chicagoland Workers for Attack on Family Health Benefits

Chicago Sun-Times: Dominick's union heads vow to fight against cuts

Daily Herald: Union leaders: Dominick's tries to bully workers

Crain Chicago Business: Dominicks union files complaint

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC

 
 

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