Costume Designers Guild In Solidarity
By Gina Silverstein, updated September 27, 2011
A 3-year labor contract between union workers and grocery chains was ratified on September 25th, in what is being called a win-win for both parties. Officials from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represented the workers, and negotiators from Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons, reached an agreement after months of tense negotiation. The deal averted a strike that would have affected over 60,000 workers in Southern California. The Costume Designers Guild, in solidarity with its union brothers and sisters, had expressed its support during a visit to Vons in Studio City last month (see below). Union negotiators said in a statement, “We have attained our most important goal, which was continuing to provide comprehensive healthcare to the members and their families.” Workers also received a modest increase in wages.
August 12, 2011
On August 9th, the Costume Designers Guild visited the Vons grocery store on the corner of Ventura Blvd. and Laurel Canyon Blvd. in Studio City, California. The visit was in support of CDG’s union brothers and sisters in the grocery industry (Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons) who are in contract negotiations to receive full health care benefits. CDG Executive Director Rachael Stanley, Member Services Administrator Suzanne Huntington, Labor Delegate Betty Madden, Board Member Cliff Chally, Costume Designer Pat Welch and supporter Richard Wicklund presented a letter to the store manager to give to Vons CEO Steve Burd that summarized CDG’s solidarity with grocery workers. It was signed by the CDG’s Executive Board.
The group also fanned out in the store to meet workers on the floor to express their support and desire to avoid a strike. Madden explains that it is not simply one union standing in solidarity with another. When workers in our community do not receive health care benefits and don’t have a living wage, it affects everyone in the community. In this particular case, it’s advantageous for everyone if food handlers are healthy and have healthy families.
For more information about how CDG members can support these efforts in their own communities, please contact Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org