UFCW Local 400 continued negotiations with Safeway Stores this week after union members asked management to ensure quality jobs in neighborhood grocery stores. UFCW wrote late on Friday, “Safeway is continuing to refuse to fund our pension,” and members will vote Thursday on whether to go on strike. Janeese Lewis George issued the following statement in response:
“Ward 4 is home to two Safeway stores, on Piney Branch Road and on Georgia Avenue. These stores are an integral part of our neighborhoods both for the food they provide as well the jobs they support. The staff at these stores are part of our community and they deserve fair pay, fair benefits, and the pensions that management has promised to them.
“Solidarity is personal for me. My mother has been a member of the American Postal Workers Union for 34 years and when we were growing up her union job paid our rent every month and put food on our table. But it took a fight for that to be possible. In 1970 postal workers went on strike and people in many unions, of all races, and around the country stood shoulder-to-shoulder, missing wages, but staying unified. Those brave workers’ fight meant years later, my siblings and I had not only a roof over our heads but also food on our table, clothes on our back, and healthcare. And postal workers today still benefit from that fight over 40 years ago.
“In the event that UFCW members vote to strike this week I will proudly join the picket line along with my campaign supporters. I call on all Ward 4 leaders, workers, and people who believe employers should honor their commitments to join me in supporting UFCW members as they stand up for good jobs at Safeway.”
Janeese Lewis George is a former DC Assistant Attorney General, a DC State Democratic Committeewoman, a third-generation Washingtonian, and lifelong Ward 4 resident running to be Ward 4’s next representative on DC Council. She has been endorsed by DC Black Lives Matter, DC Working Families Party, Metro DC DSA, Jews United for Justice Campaign Fund, DC for Democracy, and the Washington Teachers’ Union. Learn more about her campaign at https://www.janeese4dc.com/.