Union representative Pete Derenale, right, and other Raley's workers pack up strike signs Tuesday after the UFCW Local 5 and UFCW 8-Golden State unions reached an agreement with Raley's, ending the strike. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)


Raley’s supermarkets strike ends

By From page B9 | November 14, 2012

FAIRFIELD — Union representative Pete Derenale came to the Travis Boulevard Raley’s at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to shake hands with picketing workers and tell them the nine-day strike had ended.

“They’ll be getting back to work today,” said Derenale, who is with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5.

Raley’s and two unions announced that morning that a tentative agreement had been reached after 15 months of bargaining. The unions involved – UFCW Local 5 and UFCW 8-Golden State – decided to immediately stop the strike that began Nov. 4.

“It’s great being back,” Raley’s worker Jonathan Clark said as he prepared to leave the picket line. “I hope we don’t have to do this again in another five years. I’m really happy all of us got to bond together and to go against the corporation for what we believed in.”

Worker David Childress said he worked his way up from bagging groceries in 2006 to working in produce today.

“I’m glad, so glad to get back and see our regular customers who know us and supported us through this entire thing,” Childress said.

A woman drove through the parking lot, stuck her head out the car window and asked if the strike had ended. Derenale told her it had.

“So I can shop?” she said.

Derenale told her “yes.”

Tony Boucher stood on the two-person picket line at the Raley’s on North Texas Street in Fairfield. He was waiting just before 9:30 a.m. to get official word from the union that the strike had ended. He had only heard rumors at that point.

“I was ready from day one for it to be over,” Boucher said. “I actually didn’t think it was going to happen. First strike in Raley’s history.”

A Raley’s press release said details of the agreement will not be made public until the unions ratify the tentative deal. But the contract will provide the store with the cost savings needed to fund its visions and initiatives to be more competitive in the 21st century, it said.

A union press release, while not giving details, said Raley’s agreed to retain and fund the union’s health benefit plan, as is the case with Safeway and Save Mart. The tentative agreement addresses Raley’s competitive concerns while protecting union membership in a challenging time, it said.

“It is important to remember that everyone including our employees, our customers, our company and the communities we serve have suffered in this labor dispute,” Raley’s President Mike Teel said in a press release. “So it gives me great pleasure to know that as of today our employees will be back to work serving our customers with the same attention and care as we have always served our customers at Raley’s and Nob Hill.”

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Discussion | 4 comments

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  • Glen FaisonNovember 13, 2012 - 10:32 pm

    Due to website maintenance, Daily Republic readers will be unable to comment on articles on the newspaper's website for much of Wednesday morning. The website will still be available to view stories and photos. The ability to comment on stories is expected to be available again by midday.

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  • CD BrooksNovember 14, 2012 - 12:50 pm

    Happy to see the strike has been settled and I am especially pleased for the retirees. Safeway is a nice store but it is across town and much less convenient. From what I’ve experienced there, they will be happy to return to a manageable customer level. Glad we can now shop at Raley’s again!

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  • Mr. PracticalNovember 14, 2012 - 7:21 pm

    I shopped at Raley's each day during the strike. The picketers handled themselves extremely well. They left a clear path for shoppers to get to the doors. They smiled and said hi if you made eye contact, but did not engage shoppers regarding the strike unless the shopper said something first. That's the way it should be done. Good job.

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  • Joe PikeyNovember 14, 2012 - 8:17 pm

    I agree Mr. P...I shop at all the local Raley's but the only one that is Union (Travis Blvd) I avoided and the main one I shop. I did sneak into the others to get my Sac Bee & every time the picketers acted very professional, just like the courteous Raley's employees I am used too. Glad it has ended. Thanks Raley's employees & thanks Raley's. You've got my Biz...

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