Janitors Protest at Albertsons

Janitors in Service Employees International Union Local 1877 staged rallies this week at four Albertsons stores in Southern California to express concerns about the chemicals they use to clean stores and also to protest an apparent contract proposal that would shift more health care costs to the members.

FULLERTON, Calif. — Janitors in Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1877 staged rallies this week at four Albertsons stores in Southern California to express concerns about the chemicals they use to clean stores and also to protest an apparent contract proposal that would shift more health care costs to the members.

The local is in the midst of negotiations with the three major Southern California chains — Kroger-owned Ralphs, Safeway-owned Vons and Albertsons, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Supervalu — along with Stater Bros., Gelson's and Super A Foods. Its contract, which expired Jan. 25, covers 2,300 supermarket janitors working at approximately 900 locations.

Two weeks ago union members held a rally at a Ralphs store. A Local 1877 spokesman told SN the union plans to escalate its public activities going forward.

Lilia M. Rodriguez, public affairs manager for Albertsons, said, “We are disappointed that this is the SEIU’s response to our commitment at the bargaining table. Albertsons believes the only way to get a new contract is to negotiate at the bargaining table, but instead, the SEIU is focusing on conducting rallies about topics that are untrue.”

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