This dumb. Southern California grocery workers are set to walk out as soon as tomorrow and shut down hundreds of stores over, at most, $23 a week:
Now, as in 2003, one key sticking point is healthcare. What’s at issue is a painfully common refrain in corporate America: medical costs are rising.
Under the latest offer from the employers, grocery workers would pay $9 a week for individual coverage and $23 a week for a family, company and union officials said.
The grocers say these premiums are necessary to help offset rising healthcare costs and augment the amount Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons are agreeing to pay into a trust fund that purchases healthcare for workers. But union officials say that what the employers have proposed to pay during negotiations on the complex deal is far short of what is necessary and would ultimately gut the trust fund. Instead, union officials say, the employers need to pay more in order for the fund to be viable long term.
Consider that California has unemployment of at least 12% and that many, many people are experiencing tight wallets these days. And the union bosses think it’s a good idea to put their own people out of work? Do the unions really expect sympathy from the public when all they’re being asked to pay for healthcare is $36 per month for a single person and $92 for a family? Do they really expect people facing far more onerous financial conditions to say “Oh yeah, man. You’ve got a real grievance here. I’m totally willing to drive 20 miles to find a non-union store while you fight to save 36 bucks a month!”
Really? I expect instead you’ll see a lot of people crossing the lines as the strike goes on, and plenty of “scab” workers — people who need jobs.
I supported the strikers back in 2003, because I felt they had a real grievance. Contrary to the article, the real issue then was management at Safeway trying to forcing workers to pay for management’s poor business decisions.
But this… this is dumb.
via Pirate’s Cove
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)