Al De La Rosa, business agent for Teamsters Local 439, told the Stockton Record that picketers decided to turn their focus on keeping other union drivers from making deliveries and influencing union grocery workers not to work. They are also encouraging shoppers to boycott the grocery chain and trying to influence other drivers to join in the picket.
Dozens of Teamster members walked the sidewalks in front of the Safeway store on Country Club Boulevard at Interstate 5 in Stockton as De La Rosa told the paper they were “beefing up” the protest.
On Oct. 18, about 1,200 warehouse workers and 400 drivers began striking Summit Logistics, which runs the warehouse where they work. The workers are protesting the working conditions at the warehouse.
Until now, the 1,600 Teamsters working for Summit haven't targeted the Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway except to hand out thousands of informational flyers to Safeway shoppers urging them to shop elsewhere.
That changed Wednesday, when Teamsters Local 439 Vice President Sam Rosas approved the Safeway picketing, saying that Safeway and Summit are closely connected enough to justify picketing outside stores, the Record reported.
“The Teamsters do not work for Safeway, and we are not a party to the dispute,” said David Bowlby, Safeyway spokesman. He added that Safeway's position is that any picket line at a store intended to cut deliveries and keep grocery workers out is illegal, and the store will take the legal means necessary to prevent disruption of their business.