LOS ANGELES (August 25, 2011) --- A delegation of members and staff from the Los Angeles Local of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO – a national union of more than 70,000 recording artists, broadcasters, actors, singers, dancers and other performers who work across the spectrum of media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings and digital media – today marched on their local Ralphs store, located at 5601Wilshire Boulevard, to deliver a letter of support for United Food and Commercial Workers who are locked in difficult contract negotiations with store owners.
At 10:30 a.m. today, more than 40 AFTRA members and staff marched from the AFTRA headquarters at 5757 Wilshire Boulevard and hand-delivered to the store manager the letter of support. The letter, which was signed by AFTRA Los Angeles President Gabrielle Carteris on behalf of AFTRA Los Angeles, reads:
August 25, 2011
David Dillon, CEO and Chairman
Dear Mr. Dillon:
We are here today in support of your employees, the grocery workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and to urge you to quickly come to an agreement on the new contract. We are concerned that the contract expired over 5 months ago and still very little progress has been made.
We are concerned that every day that you delay will bring our community closer to a strike that will devastate the lives of your workers, your business, and our communities. Inaction at this point is unfair not only to your employees but also to consumers and the communities you claim to serve.
We fully support your employees’ efforts to negotiate a fair contract, one that respects their hard work and their contributions to your company’s success. We strongly encourage you to act in the best interests of your company, your employees and the communities you serve by putting in the time and the effort necessary to negotiate a new contract that guarantees fair wages and benefits for your employees.
Gabrielle Carteris, President
AFTRA Los Angeles
Carteris, who was unable to attend the rally because of previously scheduled national meetings of AFTRA, issued the following statement:
“AFTRA members and staff of the Los Angeles Local are proud to show our support for our fellow union members of UFCW who work at our local Ralphs here just down the street from our National and Local offices. We want UFCW members to know that their battle, is our battle. Today, we are sending a clear message to the store’s management that as a proud member of the AFL-CIO, AFTRA stands with the men and women of the UFCW in their struggle for a fair contract.”
At its July meeting, the AFTRA Los Angeles Local Board offered the Local’s formal support of UFCW workers. AFTRA Los Angeles has “adopted” the Ralphs at 5601 Wilshire until such time as the UFCW members at that store have achieved a fair contract. The store was chosen because of its close proximity to the union’s offices and, as such, the number of members and staff who shop there daily.
Los Angeles-area UFCW members working at Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons have been in negotiations with management for more than six months over terms for a new contract. Little progress has been made to-date, and UFCW members have been working without a contract for six months. Workers have authorized negotiators to call a strike if a fair agreement cannot be reached.
Negotiations are scheduled to resume later this week, but a strike still remains a possibility unless significant progress is made during this week’s negotiating sessions.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society.