A New Contract and Old Memories in the Grocery Business

Going into the fall of 2003, 16 years ago, things were very different than they are today for thousands of union grocery workers in Southern California.

Back then, they were about to go out on strike for months.

This week, heading into the fall of 2019, they are expected to vote to overwhelmingly approve a new contract with the big supermarkets in Southern California.A contract that union leadership says gives them pay raises of about $1.65 an hour and increases in health benefits and pension contributions.As one grocery store clerk put it to the San Diego Union Tribune, “This is the best contract I’ve seen in 20 years.”

So things have changed since the great strike of 2003 and 2004, but then a lot of has changed in the supermarket business and the way shoppers shop.

That strike was memorable for how painful it was for employees and customers, costing many workers a lot of money, supermarkets even more and shoppers a lot of headaches.

The strike caused break-ups in relationships and a break-up in the supermarket industry that led to fewer grocery stores as some closed and consolidated.

Since 2004, a lot of has changed in the grocery shopping business and experience with Walmart and Target taking customers away from the traditional grocery stores and more shoppers going to more specialty stores and more shoppers looking for more bargains when it comes to price.

So now as we head into the fall of 2019, those bad memories of that Fall 16 years ago are fortunately only old memories.

(Photo credit reporting partner 10News)

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