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Nob Hill Employees Strike over Wage Dispute

There is a Nob Hill Foods in Capitola as well as Scotts Valley and Watsonville.

An estimated 7,000 grocery workers at Raley's and Nob Hill Foods grocery stores in Northern and Central California walked out on strike today after 15 months of contract negotiations ended in acrimony.

Locally, there is a Nob Hill Foods at 809 Bay Ave in Capitola. Just outside of town, there are other Nob Hill locations in Scotts Valley and Watsonville. 

Today's strike follows the implementation today by Raley's of its "last, best and final" contract proposals, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers 8-Golden State and Local 5. The union accused Raley's of bargaining "in bad faith."

The union also filed unfair labor practices complaints on Thursday, including allegations that Raley's managers have been interrogating and intimidating union members, union officials said.

"We look forward to returning to the bargaining table when Raley's management has adopted a more constructive attitude," a statement from UCFW Presidents Jacques Loveall and Ron Lind said today. "Our goal from the beginning is to negotiate a fair agreement serving the needs of both Raley's and its union employees."

Raley's officials rejected the allegations.

"We're very frustrated that it's come to this, this has been going on for 15 months," said spokesperson John Segale. "We submitted our last and final offer four weeks ago and we never heard from the union, they never let their employees vote on that."

"So we had no choice but to implement our wage package this morning," Segale said.

Segale said Raley's urgently needs to cut costs in a "fiercely competitive" market. He said the Sacramento-based chain, which includes Raley's, Nob Hill Foods and Bel Air stores, has closed five stores in the past year and seen the opening or expansion of 240 non-union stores in its markets since 2008.

The conditions imposed today apply only to wages, Segale said. The store moved to freeze pay increases for two years and eliminate the premiums paid for employees working Sundays, night and holidays, but retained the one week of paid vacation and four paid holidays employees currently receive, he said.

Workers will be picketing stores and asking shoppers to take their business to competing grocery stores, union officials said today.

Raley's and Nob Hill Foods have more than two dozen stores located in the Bay Area and more in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

Are you a Nob Hill shopper? Do you support the employees? Would you cross the picket line? Tell us in the comments! 

Jordan Frank November 11, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Mr. Teel, I really believe you're delusional and need to think for yourself. You know it's not about a wage dispute! It is about the people keeping their health care in the union trustfund and not letting you get ahold of it , and start taking our health care away from us. And yes, it is about you wanting to cut off the healthcare of your retired employee's at thwe age of 65. The employee's don't want anything else from you but to keep what we have. We are ok with not getting a raise, you can take away the sunday premium, but this is all about your GREED and not giving a shit about the people who have made you the billionaire that you are! You are destroying this company, and you are never going to get the customers back that you have alienated because of your stupidity. Everything you are doing to lie to the employee's and get the customers back is not working! You obvbiously have TONS of money since you can let this strike go on! If you let this go on during Thanksgiving, you can kiss your stores goodbye, along with the customers. Wake up and start thinking about a solution. Your attorneys and your union busters must be making millions off of your stupidity! Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Sounds like you and your union busters, Mr Teel! The Customers are totally in support of supporting us employee's during this strike, don't you see your empty parking lots and how your sales are down millions.
Jordan Frank November 11, 2012 at 05:48 AM
This is not about a payraise at all It is about keeping the healthcare in the union trustfund.We don't want it to become a company bases healthcare where Mr Teel can openly start taking away our healthcare or paying much higher payments. And yes, they already do pay an amount for healthcare Yes Mr. Teel does want to take away the retired peoples healthcare at the age of 65 and dump them on to medicare. The employee's out on the picket lines are not lying to you. For 15 month the employee's have dealt with scare tactics and threats from Mr Teels union busters and he has everything twisted and lied about, that he doesn't even know anymore what he's lying about. I swear this strike is all about the healthcare. He wants to break the union and get the healthcare out of the unions trustfund! Amen, Enough Said. We know there is no raise involved and that's ok! And yes we are very grateful to have a job!
Jordan Frank November 11, 2012 at 05:55 AM
Yes, it is about healthcare. When you turn 65 he wants to dump you ! All of our retired families, parents need it!
martha Bennett November 11, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Jordan Frank, you put it quite wonderful, thanks. my husband has worked for NH for 35 yrs and it is horrible what the employees are going through
robbierotton November 11, 2012 at 08:32 PM
WOW! So much is wrong with this. First the union strike has everything to do with health care. Has almost nothing to do with employees wanting more money. In fact the union has agreed to allow small decrease in money earned by employes loss of sunday pay, loss of some holidays and other reductions in pay to benefit nob hill. Nob hill wants to make some drastic reductions in the health care they provide. to all members. Their the ones who have been bargaining in bad faith for the past 15 months hiding books, In fact the strike did not even happen until a federal mediator left the table because of the actions of nob hill's dirty tactics I work for safeway so I belong to the same union lucky's, safeway nob hill. Luckys who is probably doing the worst out of all the union grocery stores came to a agreement with the union just a few months ago. Safeway just wrapped up there negotiations with the union. we vote on it sometime this month. The Safeway and luckys contracts are similar in regards to health care. Nob hill is only being asked similar requests by the union mostly pleas to keep the health care the same.

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