Dispute Summary Paper

Essay by janetdufourUniversity, Bachelor'sA, December 2008

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Dispute SummaryAlternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has been used many times in the cases of union workers at grocery stores in Southern California. As reported by Retail Worker, an online labor and news discussion website created by and provided to retail workers, the most recent dispute occurred in July of this year. ADR allows the parties involved to handle their case out of court by allowing a third party to help mediate. Mediation is used in the hopes of coming to resolution without the need of civil litigation. A previous strike that took place for 4 ½ months from 2003 to 2004, resulted in a long strike and failed negotiations ultimately costing the grocery chains approximately $2 billion (Crabtree, 2007).

In March of 2007, the previously negotiated contract expired. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) were able to negotiate a new contract with Stater Brothers and Gelsons. Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons however, did not want to negotiate with the UFCW but instead with each local union, with the use of a federal mediator.

This appeared to be a stall tactic because mediation requires numerous meetings plus every day the workers work without a contract, the grocers make millions of dollars (Greenwald, 2007). In April of 2007, union employees threatened to begin picketing three major grocery store chains in Southern California, Vons, Albertsons, and Ralphs. In response, the chains threatened to lock out all employees. This lock out would again result in the loss of revenue to the stores as well as the employees. The 2007 disputes were over health care benefits, wages, and the proposed two-tier pay system. The two-tier pay system was included in the previous contract as a result of the negotiations from the strike in 2003-2004. This system locks in the higher wages of veteran employees...