Our UFCW Local 400 brothers and sisters are in the midst of contract negotiations with Safeway and Giant. On a recent Sunday afternoon, they hit area stores to let customers know what is going on and how they can show support for a fair contract.
Why are you out here today?
Justin: I’m out here talking to customers about our ongoing contract negotiations and asking them to support us and to let store management know that they support us in our fight for a fair contract.
Kim: I’m here because I love my job and I want to be able to keep it.
Why is having a fair contract important to you?
Justin: When I was 18, I worked at a non-union job and in the course of an 8 hour day, I got a 15 minute break. That was it. That’s all the time I had to go to the bathroom, to eat anything, to do anything I needed to do. Everyone told me, “They can’t do that. It’s against the law.” Well, there are no federal worker protections on breaks and lunches and in Virginia, there are no worker protections on that either. So to have protections, you need to have a union.
Kim: I’m 54 years old. I just had surgery on both of my wrists for carpal tunnel. If I don’t have benefits and I’m just being honest, I wouldn’t be able to do that.
Justin: Without my union, I probably wouldn’t have health care benefits like I’ve got. That’s one reason I keep working for Safeway. If I don’t have that, that’s a pretty big deal for me.
Can you talk about your relationship with your customers?
Kim: My customers know if they want to see me, they come into Giant Food and we talk. I know about their children, they know about my children. They know I’m going to give them the best service for their money: the best bang for their buck. You know, I love to talk and the one place I get to talk and the customers know that I appreciate them is Giant Food and that’s why I’ve been doing it for 23 years.
Justin: I have customers who have followed me from store to store as I’ve transferred throughout my career. I have customers who I’ve watched their kids grow up. They know I have a two and half year old girl at home. They’re always asking me what’s she doing? That’s one reason I’m in this business. I love talking to my customers and for the most part, I know they’re going to support us.
HOW TO HELP:
- Please flood the stores and let store management know that you support us. Let store management know how you feel about them hiring workers to replace us. Let every one of us that you see wearing a Local 400 button or lanyard know that you support us too.
- Call Safeway Inc. Customer Care at 1-877-723-3929 or Giant Consumer Affairs at 1-888-469-4426. Let them know that you will support us through these negotiations and you won’t shop Giant or Safeway if there is a work stoppage.