UFCW Takes Tesco Campaign to Britain

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union is seeking to convince the parent company of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets to meet with labor representatives in the U.S. by launching a campaign in England.

WESTMINSTER, England — The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union is seeking to convince the parent company of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets to meet with labor representatives in the U.S. by launching a campaign here. The effort aims “to show Tesco’s other face to British people, British investors and British politicans, in the hope they will influence Tesco to stop and think about the way they conduct their business in America,” the union said. In a press conference here yesterday to discuss a union report entitled “The Two Faces of Tesco,” Jon Cruddas, a member of Parliament, noted that many of Tesco’s British stores are unionized and said, “What this dossier exposes about Tesco’s practices in the U.S. not only undermines Tesco’s reputation but will also affect how people think about the fairness of British companies in general. I urge Tesco … to start talking to these important stakeholders.” The press conference also included remarks by Emily Stewart, the UFCW’s campaigns director, and Jackie Gitmed, a UFCW member for 32 years who works as a cashier at Ralphs Grocery Co. in Southern California. Tesco was quoted in the Financial Times of London as saying, “If our people want to join a union, then they can and will. All the signs so far are that there is little interest in doing so.”

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