ALBUQUERQUE – Several community and labor groups here presented Furrs Supermarkets with its first annual “corporate Grinch” award last month. New Mexico Federation of Labor Executive Director Danny Rivera was disguised as the Grinch.

More than 60 members of community and labor groups formed an informational picket in front of the Lowes Food Market in downtown Albuquerque. Furrs went into bankruptcy and Lowes took their place.

The action focused public attention on the inadequate treatment of workers by the now bankrupt Furrs Supermarkets.

Its replacement, Lowes, also exploits their workers, many of whom are former Furrs’ workers. Lowes pays their workers minimum wage with no benefits and employees complain that the store does not schedule them for enough hours to provide for their families. Similar actions will be taking place in front of Lowes throughout New Mexico. The goal is to get Lowes’ parent corporation to sign a “neutrality agreement” and allow UFCW local 1564 to organize their employees and hold an election.

A neutrality agreement means the company will not use anti-union intimidation tactics during union organizing drives. The awards ceremony and picketline was organized by local groups, including Revisioning New Mexico, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1564, the Southwest Organizing Project and Jobs with Justice.