Some Raley's Picketers are Not Store Employees
The mood at some Raley's stores grew tense over the Veterans Day weekend, even as the company announced that it was heading back to the bargaining table with its employees' labor union.
Picketers and customers accused each other of being hostile. At a store on Folsom Boulevard in Sacramento, one shopper said picketers approached not just Raley's shoppers, but those trying to shop at stores in the same parking lot.
"When we went to the 99-cent store yesterday, there were so many people and they were coming up to people before we even got to the door," said Heather Watts. "It was really stressful."
A man picketing outside that Raley's store Sunday and Monday identified himself not as a Raley's employee, but as an employee of the union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, from San Francisco.
"What kind of person crosses a picket line?" he yelled toward customers entering and leaving the store. He would not give his name.
At two other Sacramento-area Raley's stores, a few other picketers also identified themselves as employees of the UFCW. Two were outside the store on Fair Oaks Boulevard in Carmichael and one, who said he was traveling from outside the area, was at the store in Roseville.
"The overwhelming majority of the people on our picket lines are workers from the Raley's stores," read a written statement from Jacques Loveall, the president of UFCW Local 8, who has been leading negotiations in San Francisco with Raley's representatives.
"We are proud their ranks are fortified by supporters from around the area, around the state and around the country," the statement read, in part.
At a Raley's store on Watt and Marconi Avenues in Sacramento County, as well as at the Roseville store, it was picketers who said that they have been contending with aggressive behavior from customers and passers-by.
They said it has lasted through the nine-day duration of the strike...