Letter to the editor: Raley’s workers needed to strike
November 9, 2012
I have been following the labor dispute at Raley’s and have come to the conclusion that the workers have taken the only course available to them. The only remedy to the one without the power is to organize, not just to get your way, but to bring the parties to the table. The forces are far from equal. Raley’s has the power, it could close this store and not damage its profit. It could fire everyone and get new employees, as was done before for fair labor practices law were adopted. Believe me, employees and their families suffer during these strikes. The walkout is the last resort, the only tool that will to force that issue.
In my work I have seen many examples of the underdog being forced into situations in which they have no real power; an example is the rent increases on mobile homes. There is not a level playing field, the landlord raises the rent and, unlike an apartment, you can not just throw your stuff in the back of your truck and move, it costs thousands of dollars to move a mobile home – if it can be moved at all.
I personally understand and support the right of the Raley’s employees to strike when discussions break down and you have no power but to walk away at great expense. There are issues to resolve and sometimes it takes collective action to resolve them; in the old days the action was clubs and guns, violence.
Before you take a side, I ask you to try and understand both sides, get the facts. What do the employees want? What is the employer offering? Get the whole story, if you do, I believe that you will understand the need of the employees to strike.
South Lake Tahoe