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Fall 2009
Updated On: Aug 21, 2015

SECRETARY-TREASURER’S REPORT

Fighting Back Against
Fresh & Easy’s Invasion

    Tesco, the British parent company of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets, recently announced that its American division would lose about $259 million this year, or about $2 million for each of its 130 American stores.
    Tesco’s official explanation is that the recession is hurting sales and slowing down the roll-out of new Fresh & Easy stores in the U.S. In the meantime, the company has to build expensive new distribution centers to keep these stores supplied.
    Tesco’s huge losses represent an opportunity for the uFCW and its allies as we seek to extend th e benefits of union membership to Fresh & Easy’s work force. The company needs all of the public good will it can get as it struggles to reverse these losses.
    We probably have a long way to go before Tesco decides to work with us and not against us. Until it does, we need to apply as much pressure as we can.
    UFCW 8 is doing its part. Volunteers from our union recently began informational picketing at Fresh & Easy stores in Bakersfield and Delano, two cities in our jurisdiction where Fresh & Easy is trying to establish a big presence.
    We are asking the public not to shop at Fresh & Easy and to shop instead at union stores such as Save Mart, Food Maxx, Foods Co, Albertsons and Vons.
    (See page 7 for examples of the handbills our pickets are giving to shoppers.)
    We are informing the public that Tesco is siphoning money out of every community in which it opens a Fresh & Easy store. This behavior is an ongoing provocation and it is our duty as a Labor Union to respond to that provocation.
    Our state and our country have enough challenges in these hard economic times without a foreign company coming in with substandard jobs. These stores threaten good, local companies that
Michael Tursky, Secretary-Treasurer UFCW 8 - Golden State
bring value and solid jobs to their communities.
    For decades, good American jobs have been exported overseas at an alarming rate. And now this global giant from the uK is coming to our country thinking it can take advantage of American workers on our own turf!
    This must not happen. Fresh & Easy’s policies pose a threat to union market share and to the living standards of our members. We must do what it takes to ensure that workers at Fresh & Easy have the same access to the good pay, health care, pension and job security enjoyed by union members.
    If you would like to get involved in the Fresh & Easy campaign, please contact your district union representative. UFCW 8-Golden State

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