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Union Petitions Stater Bros. CEO

July 14, 2011 - SupermarketNews.com - By Elliot Zwiebach

stater

Workers at Stater Bros. Markets here have sent letters and petitions to Jack Brown, the chain's chairman and chief executive officer, asking him to take a more active role in Southern California labor negotiations that involve divisions of Kroger, Safeway and Supervalu.

The workers asked him to urge his fellow CEOs to negotiate "fairly" on behalf of food workers.

Brown told SN, "It would be ridiculous for anybody to think I could influence the heads of Kroger, Safeway or Supervalu."

Brown said Stater has agreed to abide by any contract terms negotiated by those companies, though Stater negotiators are meeting with union representatives to work out contract changes specific to Stater Bros. Those meetings are separate from the sessions between the union and the three major chains, he noted.

A press release about the petitions quoted Glenn Raad, identified as a Stater Bros. employee, saying, "It is time to get off the sidelines and get into the game. Our families are at stake too.

"We are urging Mr. Brown to get involved. I'm concerned that the continued delay [in reaching a contract agreement] could have a devastating effect on my ability to get medical care."

According to Rigberto Lopez, also identified as a Stater employee, "We have made many compromises over the last 30 years to help the employers keep health care and retirement costs low. Now to suddenly shift ... million(s) in health care costs to the workers is not only unnecessary, it is downright unfair. It's time for Stater Bros. workers to have a voice at the table."