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Local Man Supports Raley's-Nob Hill Strikers

John Cortesi spoke up at a rally in support of workers who have been on strike against Raley's-Nob Hill since Sunday.

 

Retired Lucky's clerk and San Lorenzo resident John Cortesi said he supported the need for good benefits and wages at a rally Wednesday to support striking workers of Raley' and Nob Hill.

"The retail clerks were always very good to me. If I get my pension, I'm going to back them up," said Cortesi, a retired Teamster.

Unions from across the Bay Area rallied at a Nob Hill supermarket in Alameda Wednesday evening in support of employees who have been on strike since Sunday over wages and medical benefits.

The rally came three days after Raley's and Nob Hill workers across Northern California walked off the job after The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 said it was unable to reach an agreement with Raley's management.

The union also filed unfair labor practices complaints on Thursday, including allegations that Raley's managers have been interrogating and intimidating union members, union officials said.

However, Raley's officials rejected the allegations, saying they submitted their last and final offer four weeks ago but never heard from the union. They said they had no choice but to implement their wage package to cut costs in a "fiercely competitive" market.

Hundreds of picketers showed up Wednesday evening chanting, waving signs, making noise and marching through the parking lot in front of the store.

Manager Angel Ortega who has been working for Raley's-Nob Hill for 12 years has been picketing since Monday for about six hours each day.

On Wednesday, she decided to bring her 10-year-old daughter Angela out to help her better understand why they will need to cut back on their spending.

"While we're on strike we're not going to have extra things. We're going to have to hold back," she said. "I don't want to be out here any more than the company wants us to be."

They were also joined by employees Gina Emmons and her 17-year-old daughter Jessie. Emmons is a bookkeeper and Jessie is a clerk.

"We're trying to make the biggest impact in as little time as possible so we can get back to normal," Jessie said.

"I just hope it's all over soon," Emmons said. "I love my job and it's hard to be out here.

Raley's owns 128 stores in Northern California and northern Nevada as well as 78 Raley's superstores, 22 Nob Hill markets, 20 Bel Air markets and eight Food Source warehouses.

Do you have a stand on this strike? Do generally align for or against unions, and why?

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Andrew November 08, 2012 at 07:04 PM
If you don't like the job and the working conditions, then go get another job. That's what we do in America.
David Ross November 09, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Well said! These folks should also be glad they have a job considering the true unemployment rate is approaching 20%.
Jessica Gardner November 09, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Really striking for premium pay to work on Sunday????
Jessica Gardner November 09, 2012 at 06:03 PM
When they stop getting a paycheck then they will realize what a bad judgement this was Really they get extra pay just to work Sunday???
William Carman November 14, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Andrew, David, Jessica, are you willing to work 7 days a week, or do you pass judgment on the patch all day long. These people might need to show up to work at 4 am, and the next day they might l be required to work until midnight. Its rotational hell on the circadian clock. Until you have worked in the perverse conditions of a supermarket. You should not be so quick to judge thees people. American workers have been stripped of having a normal life by some employers. Lunches are no longer mandatory. It used to be both union and non union employees received double time after a 12 hour day. or over time after 40 hours per week. But in the last 15 years under both democrats and republicans, workers have pretty much been made slaves of. In theory employees should be allowed one day a week off for religious services if their religion calls for it. also the premium pay gives the employees a better paycheck, and allows the store to stay open on weekends. What would you do if you lived in a christian town where the store had to be closed in observance of a religious practice every Sunday. Theses people miss out on the luxury of weekends with their family. the three of you made insensitive comments to hard working people. If you don't like your job, Improve the working conditions, that's what Americans do! I salute thees workers.
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