Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Southern California Grocery Strike: A War for the Whole Country

Update in the NY Times about labor raising the pressure on the supermarkets in the Southern California strike over health care.
"This is not a battle about Southern California; this is a war for the whole country, particularly over health care," said Ron Judd, West Coast regional director of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. "This should be seen as the poster child of what employers are willing to do to take away health care."

The union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, describes its action as a goal-line stand against supermarket efforts to reduce benefits while having workers begin paying some of the premiums. Organized labor says that if the union loses here, corporate managers everywhere may be emboldened to cut back on health benefits.
And the hardship on the strikers is getting heavier. Carter Wright over at the Joe Kenehan Center has found some good first-hand information on the strikers' stories. "The courage shown by these people is astonishing."