Hundreds of rank-and-file Teamsters, members of various unions across LA, and local leaders joined General President Sean M. O’Brien and General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman for a rally outside the headquarters of Chedraui USA, the parent company of Smart & Final, in support of warehouse workers represented by Teamsters Local 630 in Los Angeles.

“We refuse to let our members be bullied,” O’Brien said. “The only way to take on a bully is to fight them head-on. We will stop at nothing to protect American jobs and demand that Smart & Final workers are protected under a Teamsters contract. We’re not asking; we’re demanding it.”

“We are here today to defend American jobs and demand a fair contract that gives our members the wages and respect they deserve,” said Lou Villalvazo, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 630. “Chedraui has not only threatened workers but also violated labor laws, showing blatant disregard for their rights.”

Teamsters are fighting plans by Chedraui USA, the U.S. subsidiary of the Mexican grocery giant Grupo Chedraui, to close two unionized Smart & Final warehouses in Commerce and Riverside, Calif., forcing longtime workers to reapply for employment at $10 to $12 less per hour at a new warehouse in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

“These workers have dedicated their lives to building this company, ensuring our shelves were stocked, especially during the pandemic. They were there for us when we needed them most, and now it’s our turn to stand with them,” said Chris Griswold, Teamsters International Vice President At-Large and President of Teamsters Joint Council 42. “We will not allow Chedraui or any other company to disrespect our members and destroy good American jobs. It’s time for Chedraui to do the right thing, honor the sacrifices of our members, and negotiate a fair contract.”

Before the rally, community groups and fellow union members marched alongside the Teamsters Local 630 members around the corporate headquarters of Chedraui USA.

“Many of us have dedicated over 20, even 30 years of our lives to this company,” said Daniel Delgado, a Smart & Final worker of over 20 years. “Despite our commitment to building the Smart & Final brand, Chedraui is attempting to fire us without a second thought. But we won’t be silenced or pushed aside. We stand strong and will continue to fight until they give us the respect we deserve and negotiate a fair union contract.”

Chedraui USA/Smart & Final is accused of violating federal and state laws, such as California Assembly Bill 647, which went into effect in January 2024.

“We refuse to let Chedraui upend the lives of our members,” said Tom Erickson, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division. “Shame on this company for trampling on these workers’ rights. The entire International is behind them in this fight, and we won’t stop fighting.”

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