More than 300 warehouse workers at Smart & Final Distribution Center in Commerce, Calif., have voted overwhelmingly to join Teamsters Local 630 in Los Angeles. It is the second group of California workers to join the Teamsters Warehouse Division this month.
“I’m looking forward to working with Local 630 to negotiate a fair contract that’s on par with the other food distribution centers in our industry such as Vons, Albertsons, and Ralphs, just to mention a few,” said Joe Lagano, a 32-year warehouse worker at Smart & Final Distribution Center. “I’m glad we are Teamsters, so we can have a true voice and an opportunity to achieve our goals.”
After launching their organizing campaign, Lagano and his co-workers overcame a vicious anti-union campaign from management to win strong representation on the job. The workers are seeking consistent standards, better health care, a path to retirement, an end of favoritism, improved safety, and respect on the job.
“Workers at the Smart & Final Distribution Center made history by overwhelmingly voting to join Teamsters Local 630. After over 30 years of takeaways these workers decided to organize for power. They united to overcome the company’s high-priced union busters,” said Lou Villalvazo, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 630. “Workers voted to join Local 630 because they see the strong representation, better wages, benefits, and strong protections that come with a Teamster contract.”
Smart & Final is a chain of warehouse-style food and supply stores based in Commerce, Calif., and is owned by Mexican supermarket operator Chedraui.
“I applaud Smart & Final workers for uniting and taking control of their future,” said Tom Erickson, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division. “I want to thank everyone who stood with them in this fight, especially the entire team at Local 630 for leading the organizing effort and the Teamsters Organizing Department for assisting throughout the campaign. This victory shows that when we stand together, we can win the toughest fights.”