The warehouse workers, members of Teamsters locals 730 and 639, based in Washington, D.C., received a 60-day layoff notice from C&S Wholesale Grocers, which operates the Safeway-owned facilities. Safeway intends to close the operation, with plans to send the bulk of these family-supporting jobs to Pennsylvania.
“The greed of this multi-billion dollar private equity firm is unmatched,” said Tommy Ratliff, President of Local 639. “Workers here have spent decades working night shifts, weekends and holidays to make Safeway a profitable company. We will do whatever it takes to save these jobs.”
On today’s Labor Calendar, Safeway workers and their allies will rally against the distribution center closings from 1 to 2pm in Upper Marlboro. Go to dclabor.org and click on calendar for complete details.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1793, Queen Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis the 16th, was beheaded during the French Revolution. When alerted that the peasants were suffering due to widespread bread shortages, lore has it that she replied, “Let them eat cake.” In fact she never said that, but workers were, justifiably, ready to believe anything bad about their cold-hearted royalty.
In 1859, abolitionist John Brown led 18 men, including five free blacks, in an attack on the Harper's Ferry ammunition depot, the beginning of guerilla warfare against slavery.
Today’s labor quote is by John Brown:
“I have only a short time to live, only one death to die, and I will die fighting for this cause. There will be no peace in this land until slavery is done for.”
John Brown, who also said, “These men are all talk; What is needed is action — action!”
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