Sacramento, CA – Today, the 180,000 essential worker members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council purchased a front-page takeover of the Sacramento Bee urging Governor Gavin Newsom to sign SB 725 (Smallwood-Cuevas) into law. SB 725 will require a grocery establishment who conducts layoffs as a result of a merger or acquisition to provide workers with a one-week displaced grocery worker allowance for every year of service.
“California grocery workers were hailed as essential workers during the pandemic, with our state relying on them to keep everyone fed,” said Mark Ramos, president, UFCW Western States Council and UFCW Local 1428. “We need California to stand up and protect them now if they were to lose their jobs because of mergers and acquisitions. Grocery workers too often live paycheck to paycheck and SB 725 will ensure they have peace of mind through the allowance that they can pay their rent or put food on the table. SB 725 is a high priority bill for UFCW this legislative session, and that’s why we’re putting our boots on the ground and our money where our mouths are to show Governor Newsom that he must sign this bill into law now.”
The Sacramento Bee front-page takeover is part of a day of action in Southern California where essential worker members from six local UFCW unions (Locals 135, 324, 770, 1167, 1428 and 1442) came together for a press conference and rally urging the Governor to sign SB 725 into law.
Here are the ads running in the Sacramento Bee all day on October 5, 2023:
SB 725 (Smallwood-Cuevas), is part of UFCW’s legislative package to mitigate the effects of mergers and acquisitions on the retail and grocery industries. The other two bills in the package are:
- AB 647 (Holden) Protect Grocery Workers Job Act. This bill will protect grocery and pharmacy workers’ jobs by strengthening California’s existing Statewide Grocery Worker Retention Law. This will ensure that skilled and trained workers can continue to provide our communities with access to safe food and lessen the economic impact to our social safety net.
- AB 853 (Maienschein) Californians’ Right to Know on Essential Goods and Services. California residents and workers must have the right to know about proposed mergers in the Grocery and Drug-Retail industries that affect the supply and affordability of food and medicine and the supply of experienced grocery retail workers with knowledge of food safety and licensed pharmacy staff entrusted with supplying safe and accurate medications and clinical services to ailing Californians. AB 853 will require grocery or drug-retail companies to notify the California Attorney General 180 days in advance of finalizing a proposed merger or acquisition and submit an impact analysis report on the impact of the merger or acquisition on communities, such as food deserts, food prices, and access to food, and workers, such as supply of experienced grocery workers, unemployment, wages and benefits and more.
All three bills await Governor Newsom’s signature, and he has until midnight, October 14, 2023 to sign the bills.
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