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Raley's-Nob Hill Rally at Alameda Nob Hill Draws Hundreds

Various labor unions from across the Bay Area came out to the Alameda store in support of those who have been on strike against Raley's-Nob Hill since Sunday.

From teamsters to teachers, unions from across the Bay Area rallied at Alameda's Nob Hill supermarket Wednesday evening in support of employees who have been on strike since Sunday over wages and medical benefits.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 posted a message on its website Wednesday afternoon announcing that it would hold a rally at the Alameda location from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The rally came three days after Raley's and Nob Hill workers across Northern California walked off the job after the UFCW Local 5 said it was unable to reach an agreement with Raley's management.

The union also filed unfair labor practices complaints on Thursday, including allegations that Raley's managers have been interrogating and intimidating union members, union officials said.

However, Raley's officials rejected the allegations, saying they submitted their last and final offer four weeks ago but never heard from the union. They said they had no choice but to implement their wage package to cut costs in a "fiercely competitive" market.

As a retired clerk from Lucky's, San Lorenzo resident and Teamster John Cortesi said he understands the need for good benefits and wages.

"The retail clerks were always very good to me. If I get my pension, I'm going to back them up," he said.

Hundreds of picketers showed up Wednesday evening chanting, waving signs and making plenty of noise on the corner of Clement and Blanding avenues. They even marched through the parking lot in front of the store.

Manager Angel Ortega who has been working for Raley's-Nob Hill for 12 years has been picketing since Monday for about six hours each day.

On Wednesday, she decided to bring her 10-year-old daughter Angela out to help her better understand why they will need to cut back on their spending.

"While we're on strike we're not going to have extra things. We're going to have to hold back," she said. "I don't want to be out here any more than the company wants us to be."

They were also joined by employees Gina Emmons and her 17-year-old daughter Jessie. Emmons is a bookkeeper and Jessie is a clerk.

"We're trying to make the biggest impact in as little time as possible so we can get back to normal," Jessie said.

"I just hope it's all over soon," Emmons said. "I love my job and it's hard to be out here.

Raley's owns 128 stores in Northern California and northern Nevada as well as 78 Raley's superstores, 22 Nob Hill markets, 20 Bel Air markets and eight Food Source warehouses.

In the East Bay, there are Raley's stores in Benicia, Fremont, Newark and Pleasanton. There are Nob Hill markets in Alameda, Livermore, Martinez, San Ramon and Walnut Creek, according to the company's website.

Autumn Johnson November 12, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Story update: http://pleasanton.patch.com/articles/negotiations-resume-between-raley-s-nob-hill-foods-and-union-representatives
LL November 12, 2012 at 07:43 AM
Well put. I shopped at Raley's in Oakdale today and there were a lot of people in the store. Only two strikers in front of store; who were very nice. I am not a Safeway or Walmart shopper, I like fresh fruits and veggies. Farmer's Market, Trader Joe's etc. Nob Hill might not make it.
Autumn Johnson November 13, 2012 at 06:29 PM
UPDATE: Agreement reached http://pleasanton.patch.com/articles/raley-s-and-nob-hill-reach-agreement-with-union
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