Local Man Supports Raley's-Nob Hill Strikers

John Cortesi spoke up at a rally in support of workers who have been on strike against Raley's-Nob Hill since Sunday.


Retired Lucky's clerk and San Lorenzo resident John Cortesi said he supported the need for good benefits and wages at a rally Wednesday to support striking workers of Raley' and Nob Hill.

"The retail clerks were always very good to me. If I get my pension, I'm going to back them up," said Cortesi, a retired Teamster.

Unions from across the Bay Area rallied at a Nob Hill supermarket in Alameda Wednesday evening in support of employees who have been on strike since Sunday over wages and medical benefits.

The rally came three days after Raley's and Nob Hill workers across Northern California walked off the job after The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 said it was unable to reach an agreement with Raley's management.

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.

However, Raley's officials rejected the allegations, saying they submitted their last and final offer four weeks ago but never heard from the union. They said they had no choice but to implement their wage package to cut costs in a "fiercely competitive" market.

Hundreds of picketers showed up Wednesday evening chanting, waving signs, making noise and marching through the parking lot in front of the store.

Manager Angel Ortega who has been working for Raley's-Nob Hill for 12 years has been picketing since Monday for about six hours each day.

On Wednesday, she decided to bring her 10-year-old daughter Angela out to help her better understand why they will need to cut back on their spending.

"While we're on strike we're not going to have extra things. We're going to have to hold back," she said. "I don't want to be out here any more than the company wants us to be."

They were also joined by employees Gina Emmons and her 17-year-old daughter Jessie. Emmons is a bookkeeper and Jessie is a clerk.

"We're trying to make the biggest impact in as little time as possible so we can get back to normal," Jessie said.

"I just hope it's all over soon," Emmons said. "I love my job and it's hard to be out here.

Raley's owns 128 stores in Northern California and northern Nevada as well as 78 Raley's superstores, 22 Nob Hill markets, 20 Bel Air markets and eight Food Source warehouses.

Do you have a stand on this strike? Do generally align for or against unions, and why?

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Jessica Gardner November 09, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Soon all these union employees will have no paycheck Get a grip give up the extra pay just for working a Sunday,
Ken Briggs November 10, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Jessica, you are a fool . your butt can go an work at walmart . the un union store . when you got to have a full time job and pay your bills you nrrd all the money you can get . just a lot of part time jobs does not pay the bils , then you do not have child care 24/7 all over . so girl become a union member or know what you are talking about . yes I am for the union menbers .
Tom Abate November 10, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Better to have said: "your comment is foolish" -- less of a personal attack. We can differ. But let us please exercise restraint.


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