Apr 5, 2011

Activists Remember MLK in California By Standing with Organizing Workers at Fresh & Easy

Across the country, union activists, UFCW members and supporters commemorated the 43rd anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King by rallying, praying and marching for workers’ rights. Across California, communities showed their solidarity by taking direct action in support of workers organizing at the Fresh & Easy chain of grocery stores.

Supporters gather at the Spring Valley Fresh & Easy in San Diego to show their support for organizing Fresh & Easy workers.
In events held at 25 locations across the state, union members, community leaders and activists stood together and told the British conglomerate Tesco that Dr. King died fighting for workers’ rights and to honor his memory they should allow their workers the freedom to organize.

“We stood together for a voice on the job, and Fresh & Easy said ‘No’,” said Carlos Juarez, an employee at the Fresh & Easy in Glassell Park, “and judges and the National Labor Relations Board have found that Fresh & Easy broke federal law in two states by illegally surveilling, threatening and interrogating workers like me who want to form a union.”
A young activist displays a sense of history as he stands in support of organizing Fresh & Easy workers in West Covina.
Local community leaders made it clear to Fresh & Easy that this behavior is unacceptable.

"Fresh & Easy management must remember that their size and financial power mean very little in the scheme of things," said Rabbi Jonathan Klein. "In our state, in our country, in our community, we respect the God-given right of workers to organize, and we stand with Fresh & Easy workers who want a real voice on the job."

Rev. King’s legacy loomed large over all the gatherings. Connie Leyva, President of the California Labor Federation attended the action in West Covina to lend her support.

Fresh & Easy worker Lisa Austin speaks about here experience organizing at Fresh & Easy at the event at the West Covina Fresh & Easy store while Connie Leyva, President of the California Labor Federation, looks on.

“When Dr. King passed away, he was standing up for striking workers in Memphis,” said Leyva. “We honor his memory today by standing with organizing workers at Fresh & Easy and saying our communities support and honor the right to organize.”

Activists distributed more than 15,000 stickers and flyers across California and spoke to thousands of community members and shoppers.

You can learn more about workers organizing at Fresh & Easy by visiting www.FixFreshandEasy.com or joining them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FixFreshandEasy.

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