Unions' Rally Targets Raley's: Kelly Johnson of the Sacramento Business Journal writes that labor unions will hold a rally today in Sacramento, California, to send a message to Raley's as the UFCW and the supermarket chain attempt to reach a contract.
A federal mediator has called Raley's, UFCW 8-Golden State and UFCW Local 5 to come to the table this afternoon in a final effort to reach agreement and avoid a strike. Efforts to come up with an agreement have plodded along, stopped, and started again for more than a year.
The renewed efforts to reach an agreement stall a possible strike at Raley’s — at least until Sunday. The West Sacramento-based grocery chain has never been struck.
Clinic Network in Labor Dispute: Claudia Melendez Salinas of The Herald reports that the SEIU is alleging that Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas committed unfair labor practices by terminating two employees who were negotiating a contract with the employer. The union also alleges that the employer is not bargaining in good faith.
Unions Losing Ground in Strongholds: Kris Maher of The Wall Street Journal ($) writes that unions struggled to organize workers over the past year in areas where unions have generally performed well.
Here on the site of a former Bethlehem Steel works, in a city where union membership among private-sector workers is 12.7%, almost double the national average, employees of JWF Industries Inc. recently voted 194-38 against joining the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Many of the welders and other workers at JWF Industries are former union members who watched unionized factories in the valley shut or relocate, and say the benefits of being in a union didn't outweigh the risks. JWF Industries' chief executive, Bill Polacek, is the son of a lifelong steelworker and union member in the city, but he said his company needs to stay nonunion to compete today.
Labor experts say high unemployment might be contributing to union organizing losses.