No. Calif. Union Seeks Consumer Support

SAN JOSE, Calif. — United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 here said it is launching a campaign to get customers to show their support for labor by signing pledge cards supporting the union's efforts to maintain medical benefits and quality working condition in its ongoing negotiations.

Union members were scheduled to talk to customers Thursday at a Safeway, a Save Mart and a Raleys' Nob Hill store in this area, with similar activity at stores in Oakland next Thursday and in San Francisco the following week and extending to other parts of the state in ensuing weeks, a Local 5 spokesman told SN.

In addition to asking consumers to sign the pledge cards, the union is handing out reusable grocery bags.

As in previous negotiations, Local 5 is also asking other unions to "adopt a store" and pledge to picket at that location if a strike occurs, the spokesman said.

Contracts involving UFCW Local 5, Local 8-Golden State and Local 648 — encompassing 52,000 clerks and meat cutters — expired last fall and have been extended several times since then. Currently they are being extended day-to-day at Safeway and Save Mart, and through March 15 at Raleys, which is negotiating separately.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume Friday, with four sessions set for next week.