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Sunday, Jan 29, 2023
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El Super Hit With Labor Violations

About a hundred employees of the Mexican-based supermarket chain El Super and their supporters on Wednesday celebrated a step forward in a 19-month battle with the chain for a new labor contract.

The National Labor Relations Board alleges that the supermarket chain, which is based in Paramount and part of Mexican retail conglomerate Grupo Chedraui, violated federal labor laws when it stopped negotiating with the union for a new labor contract.

The company stepped away from the bargaining table in May last year and tried to get rid of the union representation in its stores, said Rigo Valdez, vice president of the union’s Local 770 in downtown L.A.

Additionally, the NLRB alleges that the company violated the rights of employee Fermin Rodriguez, who the supermarket allegedly fired in retaliation for his organizing efforts.

El Super has 15 stores in Los Angeles County in addition to stores in other California counties, Arizona and Nevada.

The union filed a complaint with the labor board about the supermarket’s refusal to bargain, Valdez said, and complained that workers who were known union members were discriminated against and interrogated. One of the retaliatory actions El Super took was to erase the employees vacation days, Valdez said.

The labor board has found that El Super should return to the bargaining table, and it can correct the violations or present testimony at a hearing set for June 8.

Frank Aguirre Jr., community relations manager for El Super, said “the UFCW’s claims are grossly inaccurate, misleading and irresponsible.”

The labor board’s action is an allegation, not a finding of a violation, Aguirre said, and fact-finding will be done at the hearing.

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