EAST LOS ANGELES, Ca. – El Super market workers, along with 100 community organizations, endorse the call to boycott El Super. They have come together because Bodega Latina Corporation, which manages El Super, continues to refuse to negotiate in good faith. The union and the bargaining team have met with El Super numerous times, yet the multimillion-dollar Bodega Latina Corporation, which made $5.1 billion in revenues and over $131 million profit in 2013, continues to implement its last, best and final offer.
The El Super contract expired on Sept. 27, 2013. By refusing to negotiate, “El Super is creating poverty in our communities,” said labor leader Maria Elena Durazo. Hundreds of picketing workers, faith leaders, United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) and community members rallied outside El Super in East Los Angeles, all supporting the boycott. Rigo Valdez, vice president and director of organizing for UFCW, asked, “Why are we here? We are here for the worker and the community. We are going to continue this fight. The workers and community are planning another rally calling for 100 more endorsements. Can we do it? Can we do it?” The group of supporters answered as one, chanting, “Sí se puede, Sí se puede!”
El Super CEO Alfredo Chedraui Obeso and Bodega Latina Corporation have fired workers, hired security guards, and placed management outside stores to spy on workers, as well as intimidate them by continued interrogations and surveillance. El Super’s actions by have been challenged by the union. Calling out to El Super in response, Henry Perez, associate director of Inner City Struggle, said, “If you don’t support the workers and community, the community won’t support you.”
One fired worker, Fermin Rodriguez, is an active union member and El Super negotiating committee member. Another El Super worker, a supporter of the union, was fired from the Inglewood El Super market. She said, “As a single mom, it’s not easy making a living with the low pay. The money I make is not enough. El Super makes a lot of money. They need to negotiate a fair contract.”
Firing workers is a clear case of harassment and intimidation on the part of El Super management. Union supporters have condemned this outrageous action by management. The union has filed an unfair labor practice charge challenging Fermin’s termination. Martin Ayala, another El Super worker, expressed the opinion of many supporters when he promised, “We are still going to fight, we will not give up, and the community supports us because what we are doing is the right thing.”