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UFCW Members Applaud Legislative Support for Unemployment Insurance for Striking Workers

Sacramento, CA – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council applauded the California State Assembly for passing SB 799 (Portantino)  to allow union members on strike for at least two weeks to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. In 2019, a previous attempt at passing this legislation, AB 1066 (Gonzalez), failed to pass the legislature by two votes and working people have been suffering since.

“In 2003 while I was working at Vons in Inglewood, we were on strike for months fighting for a better salary and benefits. I had a toddler at that time and wasn’t prepared to be without an income for months. I was already living paycheck to paycheck and I had to choose between feeding my daughter or buying diapers,” said Maribel Luviano, a service operation manager at Vons in Long Beach and member of UFCW Local 324. “I lost out on buying a home and got behind on my car payments while I was out on strike. Being eligible for unemployment insurance would have made such a difference in my life and my daughter’s life at that time, and all workers fighting for fair treatment deserve to be eligible.”

Striking is the last resort of workers working to influence working conditions, but employers keep too many workers in fear because they are one paycheck away from missing the rent or a car payment. SB 799 will ensure workers can stand up for the workplace justice they deserve.

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September 11, 2023

Contact: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, [email protected]