It's no big surprise that unionized workers, unions, union-friendly community groups, and union-loving activists have called for a boycott of El Super, the Mexico-based supermarket giant with more than a few stories in Orange County. The chain's workers–even the unionized ones–aren't exactly paid well; health inspectors (tipped off by the ever-awesome Joel Grover of KNBC-TV Channel 4) have dinged El Super for violations. Owner Alfredo Chedraui Obeso is a member of Mexico's One Percent–why, the press release announcing the boycott even mentioned "In 2014, Forbes reported Mr. Obeso paid $50 million for the 163-foot super yacht Tsumat"–as if that has anything to do with food at all other than Obeso making billions by forcing crappy food and salaries on his workers and consumers…which it does!
But the real reason for this action against El Super is being denied by the very people pushing for it: expansion of the United Food and Commercial Workers, the Buena Park-based union that represents only seven of the 49 El Supers in the U.S.
Oh, they can deny it all they want--and a UFCW spokesperson did exactly that to the Los Angeles Times, arguing "The idea that we're operating solely for the benefit of union members is ridiculous. We're trying to raise standards for all workers and consumers." But as I told Clam's pal at the Long Beach Press-Telegram, this is one of the opening salvos in the UFCW's campaign to organize at Southern California's ethnic supermarket empires, from Northgate (where my dad works as a truck driver) to Cárdenas to 99 Ranch Market, Super King, H-Mart and so many more. In these wildly successful stores are thousands of workers without union representation, and as gabacho supermarkets keep folding and the UFCW's membership rolls get smaller, expect them to mount a full-on recruitment effort for the ethnic giants.
We join in the boycott of El Super, not just for the workers but because the quality of the food vale verga. But 2015's going to be fun for ethnic supermarkets and unions alike…HA!