On the Subject of Grocery Strikes

In the past week or two there have been stories in the local news about potential grocery store strikes in the area starting as soon as April 9th depending on the outcome of the impending vote. I have strong opinions on the matter and don’t particularly care if I get flamed for it. However, I’m posting them to my blog instead of a bulletin board. I figure it’s my blog and I can post whatever I want here.

So here goes…I feel that unions played an important role in the development of fair (or fair-er) employment practices, safety, etc. However I feel they have long since outlived their usefulness and I don’t support them, especially when they go on strike. If there is another grocery strike I will shop wherever the heck I feel like shopping. In fact, I’ll probably shop at whatever store is affected by the strike since it will be less crowded and take less time.

At the time of the last grocery strike I became thoroughly disgusted with the whole ordeal. I tried to avoid the grocery stores where the strike was, not because I support unions, but because I generally prefer to avoid conflict when possible. However, my time is valuable to me. I tended to shop around before the strike but other places (Trader Joes, Costco, etc) were extremely crowded. After trying to go to non-strike affected stores and finding three places to be out of milk, I gave up. It’s ludicrous to drive to three different places looking (unsuccessfully) for a gallon of milk. My time, and gas money, just cannot stretch that far.

It wasn’t the effort of looking for milk that most drove me to disgust, however. It was the time when I had to go to Vons because it was the only place that carried a particular food item that my then not-quite-three year old son liked. Okay, Ralphs or Albertsons might have carried it also but after checking all of the non-strike stores I gave up. When I went to Vons it was nice and uncrowded, I got my item, and I left. In the parking lot there was a very frustrated little old lady. The striking workers had placed grocery store carts behind her car. Now, I live in an area with a lot of retirement homes. My biggest danger every day is the elderly that still drive that are past the point where it’s safe to do so. I wish I was exaggerating but I’ve lived here for three and a half years. I am really not exaggerating. I don’t want them having to get on the freeway to drive to a non-strike store. Vons is in the same parking lot as one of the retirement homes and the closest store to at least three of them. Besides, when you’re older it can be hard and confusing to change your routine.

Now, I recognize that not every person on strike was placing grocery store carts behind old lady’s cars. But sometimes one particular event can color your whole outlook on something, whether or not that’s right. For the remainder of the strike I happily shopped at that Vons.

Now I would like to think that the unions and the stores can complete their negotiations successfully without resorting to a strike. No one wins and it’s just a big pain in the ass to everyone.

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3 Responses to “On the Subject of Grocery Strikes”

  1. Darla Says:

    Darla goes over and sits with Jill.

  2. Bev Says:

    I’m right there with both of you!

  3. Laurel Says:

    I agree Jill. My job has a closed shop union, so I have to belong, and they do do some good things for us (like keep us from having quotas!), but mostly they take money, promote political agendas and prevent useless employees from being fired.

    I recently discovered Trader Joes, and it’s crowded no matter when I go in there. A possible strike will only make it worse. Sigh. There’s also talk here about a possible transit strike. That usually happens in September, and I only hope that I’ve transferred to the Torrance office by then. I can get there without the MTA. If I’m still in Commerce, I’ll be in big trouble.

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