WOODLAND, Calif. — Informational picketing at a Nugget Market location by United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 8-Golden State may be "a veiled attempt to bolster its contract negotiations with Safeway, Raley’s and Save Mart," Eric Stille, president and chief executive officer of Nugget here, told SN Thursday.
The local's contract with the three chains is set to expire Saturday. According to Stille, the union's claim that Nugget's pay and benefits package is inferior to union contracts is ironic, "since its own pension fund is in critical shape and has been identified as one of the worst in the nation."
Stille said Nugget employees "have consistently given Nugget a strong rating" in surveys of the best places to work, including a top 10 ranking for the past three years in Fortune Magazine's annual survey of the 100 best companies to work for.
Responding to questions from SN, Jacques Loveall, president of UFCW Local 8, said the union chose a Nugget, along with a Wal-Mart Supercenter, in West Sacramento as picket targets "because West Sacramento has traditionally been a union stronghold, and the threat these non-union employers pose is very serious.
"These employers have demonstrated their unwillingness to maintain standards that have been set in the grocery industry over many decades. Accordingly, we will inform the public of the negative impact they are having on the quality of jobs in the area."
Officials at Wal-Mart could not be reached for comment.