The five month-long strike/lockout of 75,000 California grocery workers was an important test in a new phase of the class war being waged by Corporate America against workers and their unions. At stake in this long battle was the right of workers to have healthcare and to enjoy union protection. A work force that is 60-percent women and 50-percent people of color endured hardship and sacrifice but stayed united and strong during this five month battle.
At the end, a contract has been accepted between the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, representing the workers, and giant retail supermarkets, including Albertson's Inc., Kroger Co., and Safeway (Safeway owns the local Vons/Pavilion stores and Kroger owns Ralphs). The contract included significant concessions. But the union was not destroyed, nor were the bosses able to succeed in creating a back-to-work movement across union picket lines that could have led to the destruction or severe weakening of the union itself.
Anti-war and community support for the grocery workers helped build solidarity. The movement against war abroad and to defend workers rights at home is really one struggle against the corporations that only have one goal: to maximize profit through war and conquest overseas and through super-exploitation and union- busting at home.
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