Union employees continue to picket Raley's
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Nov 09, 2012 | 5860 views | 44 44 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Union strikes at Raley's
Alexandra Little (left) Tracie Culis and Vanessa Smith walk the picket line in front of the Raley’s supermarket in the Red Maple Village Shopping center on Monday, Nov. 5.  Union members began striking the chain of grocery stores on Sunday.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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With negotiations at a stalemate, Raley’s supermarket employees were still manning the picket lines outside stores, including one in south Tracy, on Thursday, Nov. 8, to protest changes in benefits and wages.

Employees began their strike Sunday, Nov. 4, and officials on both sides said they don’t see a resolution coming any time soon.

“Neither side has requested a meeting to negotiate at this point,” said Raley’s spokesman John Segale on Thursday. “No one has scheduled any new talks as of today.”

Segale said negotiations broke down between Raley’s officials and members of the United Food and Commercial Workers, including the Golden State members in California, on Sunday after about 16 months.

Segale said the union was upset about a two-year pay freeze and the elimination of premium pay on Sundays and holidays. He said Raley’s never proposed changes to health care benefits for workers or retirees.

Union spokesman John Mason said outside the Tracy store Thursday that although health care benefits are not part of the present negotiations, union officials have been told they will become an issue in the future.

“We’re all out here to get a fair deal,” he said. “Hope the strike would end soon. Everybody wants to come back to their job.”

According to a statement from UFCW 8 Golden State union President Jacques Loveall, the strike is about health care.

“Our message is clear,” Loveall said in a statement on the UFCW website. “We need to protect the health care for everyone who has built this company and we will settle for nothing less.”

Among the picketers at the Tracy store Monday, Nov. 5, was the store’s natural foods manager, Tracie Culis, who said, “I’m fighting for what’s right. Fighting for employees of Raley’s future and my family’s future.”

Culis, a union member, said cuts to health benefits for retirees and workers were the reason she manned the picket line with about 10 other past and present employees. The union authorized a strike in mid-May but waited until negotiations failed before walking out.

“We’re willing to take the two-year pay freeze, but not the cut of the retirees’ benefits,” she said. “We’re not willing to budge on this one. We don’t want to risk our futures and the retirees’ futures. I love this company, but I have to stand up for what I believe in.”

Segale said the union had “misinformed” its members about the talks.

“Unfortunately, the employees never had the chance to vote on this (contract),” he said. “We believe if they did, they would vote for it. They voted on a strike authorization, never voted on a contract.”

Other people picketing outside the Tracy store spoke openly Monday about their concerns.

“I’m out here for the retirees’ medical; they want to take it away,” said deli clerk Brenda Gale. “We want a quick resolution — decide what’s fair and reasonable.”

Wearing her Raley’s uniform shirt on the picket line, Chelsea Oswald, a courtesy clerk, said her father, who is a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, told her to go out and “fight for the union.”

“I’m doing this for everyone who wants to do it but can’t do it,” she said, noting that some workers wanted to strike but could not afford to take the time off. “I have nothing to lose — I live with my parents.”

Shirley Mitchum, who went to Raley’s to get a flu shot, said she showed her support for the striking employees by refusing to cross the picket line.

“I’m a loyal shopper for 23 years, and I don’t shop anyplace else,” she said. “I want to support them. I’ve been on strike before and I’m not going to cross it.”

Another customer, Kathleen Russo, said she had no problem shopping at Raley’s as she put groceries into her pickup.

”It doesn’t matter to me,” she said. “I think prices are high enough. I understand what they are doing, but all it’s going to do is raise prices, and the economy can’t take it.”

According to officials on both sides of the picket line, no negotiation meetings have been scheduled for the future.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com
Comments
(44)
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shelly13
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November 12, 2012
Well sad to say that we had a death in the family. It really puts things into perspective sometimes. I may be passionate about my beliefs, but nothing here is truly important in the big picture. Have a great debate. I'm proud to be an American...most of the time LOL. But I will not be on for a while.
shelly13
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November 12, 2012
OK I have been on here way too long. Nope I dont have a life tonight! LOL

Here's my stance in a nutshell. I would think whether you agree with my views or not, you can see some of the same things I have seen when it comes to the Republicans versus Democrats.

They both complain about the other but do nothing to change what they are complaining about.

They are both the pot calling the kettle blackers. One party can be up in arms about something that their own party has done in the past. WTH? But they will have some lame excuses as to why it's different.

They both have become way out of touch with middle America.

They are both backed by special interests, corporations and banks. They are more accountable to them then us people.

The truth always lies somewhere in the middle. I may not always be right but I think it is about time us "middles" get some representation.
shelly13
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November 12, 2012
If you read EVERYTHING I wrote you would see that I said I don't agree with Bill on all issues. I said I know he can be harsh to people with opposing views, but he still cracks me up. Lisa Lampanelli is another. Boy, talk about someone who crosses the line and offends people. But she does not discriminate. Again, I'm not offended. It's comedy. I'm more offended by the things that really matter. Like child molesters and gang bangers and illegal immigration and sex slave trade and war and, yes the economy. Maybe for the economy Mitt was the better choice. I really don't know. All I know is that my woman's intuition would not let me vote for him. My gut said "no". I could not ignore it. He really creeped me out. Here's one difference between me and many others on either side..I know there is the chance I may be wrong.

Anyway, back to the comedy of it all...I'm just not that uptight of a person. I even think Bill O'Reilly can be funny too. He and John Stewart have opposing beliefs yet can still be friends. I wish that were true for more Americans right now.

backinblack
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November 12, 2012
shelly, Sorry but Clinton had a little help with welfare reform, from guess who? Republicans. Other than Dale, Ornley, and myself, I've only seen one other person (jarbuckle) on this website in at least the last 5 years mention the truth about Clinton's presidency, the Republican House deserved just as much credit for the accomplishments. By the way, I know for sure jarbuckle doesn't tow the Republican line - at least going by his comments.

You are usually pretty reasonable but it seems you are the one complaining - about everyone. In my lifetime there has never been a clearer choice yet you seem to believe it's a blurred line between the two major parties. That's fine as it's your opinion but I wholeheartedly disagree. I see a dire situation and unfortunately the takers are beginning to outnumber the earners so again, although neither party is perfect I choose to make my stand with the one I see best suited to turn the tide.

Say what you want about Romney or for that matter Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, but we as Americans and Californians had the opportunity to elect proven and successful leaders and in all 3 instances chose poorly by going with enablers of the takers.
backinblack
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November 12, 2012
By the way, how do you know when Maher is not trying to be funny, and how do you know - as fact, Rush truly believes everything which comes out of his mouth? Can you state with fact and bet your life on it Rush has never said anything tongue in cheek? Maher basically get's a pass from you yet Rush get's a conviction, hmmm.

You and Axelrod may use the guise of a funnyman being funny to defend Maher on some of the horrible things he's said, but I've heard many of them for myself and I'll bet my last dollar they were his true feelings. You may not be offended as a woman but if you don't mind, as a man I'll stand offended by some of Maher's comments on the behalf of you and all other women of the world.

By the way, don't you find it a bit curious Maher always directs his "comedic" remarks at right leaning women? I choose reality over naivete, what say you?
shelly13
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November 12, 2012
I know Clinton had help from the Republicans. I'm saying that they worked together for reform then, why can't we now? Of course it would be at the state level.

I don't know for a fact when Maher is being funny and not serious. But I have seen him say crap against his own party and people. I think (though is is very left) that he does see and comment pro and con of both sides of the coin. That is what I am going off of, my experience with what I have seen/heard. I have no need to defend him to you or anyone any more. I simply find him funny. Sorry if that is offensive to y'all. But it's my right and I would like to give a shout out to all the vets today for their service which gave me the right to say so! I also in return respect your right to say different.
shelly13
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November 12, 2012
PS Yes I have been complaining about "everyone". Because lately everyone who had been running for office has not been a good choice.

I heard Joan Rivers today (OK she's crazy, but again another comedian...) she equated the Presidential Election to that of choosing between the Menendez brothers. Now that's funny!

I still believe that our Democratic system has collapsed under this two party tyranny. I hope to seek out and vote in anyone from any party I feel will finally do what is right for this country. Many programs need overhauls. Until more parties are able to get their word out and get people on the ballots, we will most likely continue to suffer. Here's an article I like on the subject http://www.idsnews.com/news/story.aspx?id=83953
shelly13
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November 12, 2012
Oh yes you're right he does aim his jokes at right leaning women. Maybe that is because they are all crazy religious, uptight b words. LOL Just kidding. It's comedy. Don't get your panties in a bunch. Just wanted to add fuel to the fire.

So I really wanted to clear up my statement about me defending him...(though I do defend his right to say what he wants) I was truly defending my right to enjoy his comedy and banter with his guests. :)I really do enjoy it.
mtrew
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November 12, 2012
https://www.facebook.com/mtessaro/posts/10151516028498219

I read this one Facebook today. I liked it. Made me think. I am in a rut like many in our country today. It felt like a pre-game speech. Just what I needed. :)
shelly13
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November 12, 2012
Yes you are right, the earners versus the entitled. We ll here's some info on our welfare system.

http://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-14-3-a-how-welfare-began-in-the-united-states.html

It was a great idea for the times (the depression etc) but has really turned into a problem. It does need to be re-vamped. My problem is hearing all the Republicans complaining about the entitled, blaming the problem on the Democrats instead of doing something about it. Since the depression there have been 7 Republican presidents and 7 Dems. In the state of California there have been 8 Republican governors and 5 Dem since the depression. So why has nothing been done on this issue? In 1996 Clinton, a democrat signed a welfare reform bill. http://cgi.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/news/9608/22/welfare.sign/

That was a great start. But now it is up to the states. Why do the Republicans scream about it and do nothing? Because they are more worried about getting votes than what is right for the people/state/country. The we have then Dems who ride the gravy train into office on the backs of the poor who they enable. Someone needs to step up and do something rather than whining and blaming con
shelly13
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November 12, 2012
Also in regards to comparing Rush and Maher...Maher is a comedian. Get it? Much of what he says is meant to be funny. He jokes and some of what he says is simply meant to get a laugh. He definitely crosses the line sometimes and whether I agree with him or not, he is still pretty funny to me. Yes Bill has his agenda, but he does not believe in everything that he writes jokes about...some are just jokes to get a rise out of people. Rush on the other hand is not a comedian. He truly believes in everything that comes out of his mouth.

The extreme right and the extreme left are ruining things and we in the middle don't feel we have a voice...the voice of reason. What can we do about it?
dcose
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November 12, 2012
You can start by stepping up rather than whining and blaming.
dcose
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November 12, 2012
why has nothing been done on this issue?
dcose
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November 12, 2012
"In 1996 Clinton, a democrat signed a welfare reform bill.

"why has nothing been done on this issue?"

On how government works, a basic Civics class in government branches and their powers may enlighten you and...

Uh, because the politicians don't understand anything beyond kicking the can down the road. Fix spending defects.

WAPO

"...But yesterday, as the bill passed its final hurdle, there seemed to be less an atmosphere of celebration than a cloud of controversy hanging over the Rose Garden.

Gone were the Marine Band and Democratic congressional leaders who had attended bill-signing ceremonies earlier this week for bills increasing the minimum wage and making health insurance more accessible. Republicans, who had prodded Clinton for months to sign a welfare bill, refused to give him credit. And the divisions among Democrats over the legislation were readily apparent.Whatever divisiveness it has inspired, the bill's enactment is likely to be remembered as a defining moment for Clinton, who vetoed two previous versions and battled with himself over whether to reject this measure as well.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/welfare/stories/wf082396.htm
dcose
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November 12, 2012
shelly13, Thank you for sharing your view of funny man Maher.

My view,

http://m.newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/04/21/bill-maher-curses-out-audience-not-laughing-racist-joke-about-trayvon

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/File:Bill_Maher_flips_you_off.jpg

I laughed, I cried, they became a part of me. Hysterical

Looked for a picture or video of Rush doing the same. No joy.

backinblack
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November 12, 2012
shelly, I believe one of the main reasons we can't come together as Americans is a difference which is becoming more polarized by the day, takers will never come to agreement with earners, it's that simple.

Let's forget political parties for a moment, when you have a part of the population who believe they are responsible for taking care of themselves, and another part who believes they are owed something by someone, it's all about, Houston, we have a problem.

When I state I do not have the right to own a home, a car, or a job making more money than what I qualify for based on my abilities and performance, there is a growing number of people who will disagree. Look around, this country is becoming permeated with people who truly believe they have a right to homeownership, owning & driving a car, and having a good paying job. They mistakenly believe the right to the pursuit of happiness somehow means guarantee to happiness.

I'll bet a large number of the takers have never read the Declaraion of Independence, The Constitution, or The Gettysburg Address. They yak about their consitutional rights yet don't have a clue as to what they actually entail.

cont....



backinblack
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November 12, 2012
Back to politics, like it or not we have a two party system which doesn't look like it's going to change anytime soon. People can stand by and observe or they can take part, I choose to participate and although I do not fully agree with all their positions I choose the side which best suits the earners and can never see myself supporting a party which best suits the takers.

For the purposes of this conversation unions support the side of the takers and the takers support the unions which is why I want to see the unions go by bye. The takers are dragging this country down a hole from which we may not be able to climb out.
shelly13
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November 11, 2012
I wish I would have read it before it was taken off.

Bill Maher is a comedian, therefore much of what he says does not offend me. There are many comedians who talk about men and their man bits! It's not degrading to me, it's comedy.

Yes he is definitely a left winger and does go after those who do not see his way. But that is his right to do so, just as it is for Limbaugh and others who are way to the right. Though Limbaugh is not a comedian, just a bunch of hot air. He is much more offensive. However it is simply their opinion and they have the right in our free country to express it just as you or I - whether we agree/like it or not.

Why can't we all come together as Americans? We are Americans first and foremost. It is time we overthrow this ridiculous charade of Democrats versus Republicans when in fact they are both internally run by banks, corporations and special interests. They truly do not care about "We the People" anymore. Until we come together and put a stop to it....we will continue on this same path and it has not been a good one.
dcose
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November 12, 2012
"...Why can't we all come together as Americans? We are Americans first and foremost..."

"...Though Limbaugh is not a comedian, just a bunch of hot air. He is much more offensive..."

If I find Maher very offensive and disgusting while you find Limbaugh "much more offensive than Maher", how do you see Americans coming together?

You won't take the time to find out why we run trillion dollar deficits. One of them pretty much covers your war argument. Where did the other $3.5 trillion go?

If we can't somewhat agree on spending vs taxes, why do you expect we should "come together"?

We disagree on numerous issues. Liberal compromise means come over to my side, then we'll work on negotiation. ObamaCare and Stimulus received very little or no Republican support. It passed and was signed into law anyway.

Stimulus failed and heath care costs continue to rise while health insurance continues with less coverage at higher premiums.

Your America stumbles towards a future having no financial responsibility. At this point, I'd settle for just my head above water. Likewise the State of California voting... We are not broke enough... so what if even more residents leave. Ugly attitude.
dcose
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November 12, 2012
In Mark Steyn’s words:



In the course of his first term, Obama increased the federal debt by just shy of $6 trillion and, in return, grew the economy by $905 billion. So, as Lance Roberts at Street Talk Live pointed out, in order to generate every $1 of economic growth the United States had to borrow about $5.60. There's no one out there on the planet – whether it's "the rich" or the Chinese – who can afford to carry on bankrolling that rate of return. According to one CBO analysis, US government spending is sustainable as long as the rest of the world is prepared to sink 19 percent of its GDP into U.S. Treasury debt. We already know the answer to that: In order to avoid the public humiliation of a failed bond auction, the U.S. Treasury sells 70 percent of the debt it issues to the Federal Reserve – which is to say the left hand of the U.S. government is borrowing money from the right hand of the U.S. government. It's government as a Nigerian email scam, with Ben Bernanke playing the role of the dictator's widow with $4 trillion under her bed that she's willing to wire to Timmy Geithner as soon as he sends her his bank account details.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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November 12, 2012
dcose

"If we can't somewhat agree on spending vs taxes, why do you expect we should "come together"?

Ain't really nothin new.

"There ain't no good guy, there ain't no bad guy, there's only you and me and we just disagree."

Th problem is one of compromise which means that each have ta give a little in order ta achieve somethang positive that both can live with.

That ain't possible if thair isn't a willingness ta compromise an it seems American politics has lost that ability an why thangs are in th state they are in taday with everythang goin down hill rapidly.

BIB also touched on this with his notions on th term entitlement an pursuit of happiness versus guarantee of happiness. When you are a grasshopper in a world of ants do ya feel th world owes ya a livin? Apparently many do an that's a problem because it all don't come out of thin air.

Even children's cartoons have th Templeton The Rat, from Charlotte's Web, mind set, "What's in it for me."

As long as people place themselves and their so called "rights" above other people this problem plaguing mankind since th early history of mankind is gonna not only continue but get worse until civilization caves in on itself.

backinblack
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November 11, 2012
Hey Joel at TP, I see a comment I posted in response to Shelly has been pulled. I'd like to address this publicly if you care to step up and expain why. Was it due to:

A) Politely telling Shelly if she's not aware of how Bill Maher degrades women she should pay better attention.

B) Bringing Chris Matthews into the conversation and calling him a hate mongering liberal hack.

C) Writing I believe Maher is a colorful term for a donkey in the way he treats people who don't see eye to eye with him.

D) The fact I pointed out that Maher's attacks on women are specifically against right leaning women.

or

E) Analogies are no longer allowed - this would be my bringing Maher and Mathews into a discussion about getting rid of unions, naw can't be as my first comment is still here.

If C I understand although I don't consider the colorful term for a donkey cursing, and at least I ** the ss.

If other than C, and actually regardless of the specific selection, why is my comment gone yet comments remain from debbdaves referring to Mitt Romney as a retarded fanatic, Republicans as repubtards, and comparing Republicans to the Taliban?

Please advise.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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November 11, 2012
BIB

Don't rightly know but I'd put money on B.
dcose
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November 11, 2012
Chris "Tingles" Mathews, a hacka**?

Bill Maher, a misogynist ?

shelly: "but they're both on TV. Why can't people see beyond the uglyness to their intellect?"

The shallow are able to look at specifics without taking the measure of the totality.
backinblack
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November 09, 2012
For everyone like me who wants to see unions go bye bye, do your best to shop and spend your money at non-union establishments. Winco is non-union, it's never crowded, at least at the times my wife and I go which is usually on Monday, and the prices are fantastic.

Taking a stand against unions is no different than taking a stand against idiot celebrities like Bill Maher who constantly degrades women. Don't shop at their establishments, and don't watch their shows or go to their movies. Money is the best motivator and taking it out of the pockets of the unions and celebrities like Maher is the best course of action we can take as concerned citizens.

Shop Winco and turn of Maher! Save America!
shelly13
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November 10, 2012
How does Bill Maher degrade women and why is he even brought up here? I am a woman and I think he is hilarious. I don't always agree with him but he is a comedian ya know.
dcose
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November 10, 2012
When Maher refers to a women using a euphemism for female genitals, do you find it:

a. Uproarious

b. funny

c. Somewhat funny

d. I have no problem being called by my lady bits

e. What, there's a problem?

Your call.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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November 11, 2012
BIB

Ya know, I agree with ya. We live in a culture whare people know more, or at least should know more, an understand how ta manage thair own employment with thair employer rather than havin ta be a member of a union an havin th union do th negotiatin fer ya.

With th exception of th short stint I had as a Teamster's Local 70 union member, I haven't had th necessity ta negotiate what I need from my employer in exchange fer my labors.

A short while ago we were hearin a lot of flack about WalMart an how they allegedly mistreat thair employees because thair isn't any union.

Funny, it seems, dependin on who yer talkin about these days, depends more on yer personal preferences in shoppin, on a number of angles, than it does if th employees of th store are union members or not.

As ta Mather, I never liked his humor anyway so since I don't watch him he don't bother me at all. I exercise my ability ta alter th state of my television's on/off switch or simply change th channel.
Rich_White_Male
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November 09, 2012
Union Workers Reject ObamaCare, Demand Private Insurance
RedHotChilliPeppers
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November 09, 2012
We should have a citizens take back Raleys day!
me-here
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November 09, 2012
There was a time and place for unions. In this economy, Raley's employees and their union should appreciate the fact they have a real job. Three big name restaurants are cutting back to 20 hours to avoid the health care mandates...and you are bickering about what Raley is offering. Your demands will raise the prices charged in Raleys...and we, customers, will move on leaving you no job at all. I wish Raleys the best in hanging in there and hiring an unemployed non-union worker.
RedHotChilliPeppers
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November 09, 2012
Does the union bring in picketers from outside Tracy?
backinblack
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November 09, 2012
Would it surprise anyone if they are?
1219tracy
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November 09, 2012
They say they are picketing for benefits, but Raley's has repeatedly said they aren't changing the benefits. If they don't care that their wages will be frozen then why picket now. Sounds like the unions just trying to get the employees all worked up. In the end, the union is not really there for their employees. There have been so many companies that have to close plants, factories...because the union wouldn't budge. Like Caterpillar, International Harvester, Numi...So Raley's will cave to the union and then raise the prices in their stores, then they will have to close the stores because no one will shop there. So they will lose anyway. Better to go with a non-union job. IMO
backinblack
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November 09, 2012
Having a job and collecting a paycheck is a priviledge, not a right. It seems way too many people these days don't quite get what Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness means. Take note of the word pursuit which in no way means guarantee. While I'm at it, homeownership is not a right, owning a car is not a right, driving a car is not a right, having what others have worked harder to obtain is not a right.

We all have the right to pursue these things but our founding fathers in no way implied our pursuits would lead to guaranteed success. Maybe if the average college level civics exam scores were above 40% more people would realize this.
1219tracy
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November 09, 2012
amen
RedHotChilliPeppers
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November 09, 2012
It certainly is a tough economy. Anybody know what the Union Reps make?
1219tracy
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November 09, 2012
Here's an average of what a Union rep can make, according to payscale So around $80,000.

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Union_Business_Representative/Salary
RedHotChilliPeppers
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November 09, 2012
Over $300,000 dollars?

Sounds like entitlement.

Why don't they collect their checks from whatever is left in Oboma's campaign warchest and stop dipping into employee's paychecks?
RedHotChilliPeppers
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November 09, 2012
1219tracy,

Just pointing out that the website you gave clearly shows that data is on the low side because the majority of the higher salaries are not listed there because of, "not enough data".

I would like to know how much money the union rep makes.

Someone posted a link showing salaries above $300,000 dollars and I think the Tracy Press deleted it. Poof it's gone.

What do they have to hide?
tracyresdnt
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November 09, 2012
If you don't like your job, quit. If you don't think you're being paid enough, quit and find the job that is going to pay you what you think is fair. I hope Raley's is able to start hiring non-union employees. I've been making shopping at Raleys a regular event this week.


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