Last week, three UFCW representatives, including the local president, were
arrested for speaking with workers--something guaranteed by law and the
union contract. (Story from UFCW 555 below)
See the photos here:
We need to make sure this kind of bullying is stopped. Stay tuned for an
announcement about the upcoming rally! In the meantime, folks can help
speak up for workers' rights by countering the anti-union spin in the
media, where the headline is "Union officials accused of disrupting Fred
Meyer in Hillsboro" by writing letters to the editor, or commenting on
Letters can be sent to Hillsboro Argus, People's Forum, P.O. Box 588,
Hillsboro, OR 97123; faxed to 503-648-9191; or E-mailed to
NewsClerk@HillsboroArgus.com. Letters for People's Forum must be signed
originals and preference is given to those no longer than 250 words. For
verification, letters must include address and daytime telephone number,
which will not be published.
(HILLSBORO, OR) - Fred Meyer, one of the most profitable and popular
grocery stores in Oregon, seems intent on damaging its relationship with
the employees who make it so successful. According to charges filed by the
workers' union, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555, the
company has interfered with workers while they have been seeking a fair
contract at the bargaining table. And yesterday, the Hillsboro store
manager at Fred Meyer created a scene when he called police to arrest
three union representatives for talking with workers-a right guaranteed to
workers under federal law.
One representative was leaving the store when he was arrested, and
another, Local 555 President Dan Clay, was driving into the parking lot to
find out what was going on when police arrested him.
Union workers at other stores were baffled to hear of the company's
behavior. "We meet with our reps in the store all the time," said Anne
Lilley, a Hillsboro Safeway worker and UFCW Local 555 member. "If we're
not busy, it's easy to just step aside and take care of an issue quickly
with our reps-it's something that workers in grocery stores do every day,
all across the country. I can't believe that Fred Meyer management would
raise a fuss about something so routine."
Fred Meyer workers feel the company's behavior has been undeserved and
unacceptable. "I just don't understand Fred Meyer's actions right now,"
said Fred Meyer employee and UFCW Local 555 member Charlotte Hardin. "I
mean, we have a right to meet with our union at our workplace, and Fred
Meyer knows that. Why this hostile attitude towards our union? It's just
plain disrespectful to Fred Meyer's employees and customers."
Hillsboro resident Linda Sears was shopping at Fred Meyer when the
disruption occurred. She called the manager's behavior "unprofessional and
"Yelling at workers and their union reps," added Fred Meyer employee and
Local 555 member Karyl Feliciano, "and calling the police on our union?
Why would Fred Meyer behave like that? That kind of behavior is totally
disruptive to our customers, and to their shopping experience. It's just
bad for business."