I’ve held off publishing this for a while because I’ve been angry about some things I’ve witnessed. But a few weeks have passed, and despite the fact that the picketers have moved on to another store, I realize I’m not going to feel any better about it.
I have never been terribly supportive of the union in this pathetic grocery strike. But as this thing enters its sixth week, I find myself hoping that the strikers never get their jobs back.
It has nothing to do with the issues they’re striking over. It has everything to do with the conduct of the picketers. It’s been pathetic. No–more than that, it’s been criminal.
I’ve seen pregnant women heckled as they entered the Ralph’s near my house.
I’ve seen rocks thrown at cars.
And one day as I was passing by this Ralph’s, I heard one of the strikers extorting food from a local pizza joint. He called the restaurant on his cell phone and said that if the picketers weren’t provided with several pizzas gratis, “we’ll remember you” and there would be “hell to pay” when the strike was over.
The selection at my local Ralph’s is poor, the quality of produce mediocre, and the store hours limited. But I’ll live on Top Ramen for the rest of my life before I give people like that a single iota of support.
I’m also happy to report that the store runs just fine without them. Whoever Ralph’s got to fill in for the baggers and checkers is doing a perfectly acceptable job. The problems with the quality and selection of food are caused by truckers who refuse to cross the picket line. It has nothing to do with the replacement workers.
I almost wish the picketers would heckle me. It would give me a chance to ask them what they expect families to do. The strike is affecting every grocery store in my area except for Gelson’s (which is prohibitively expensive) and Stater Brothers (which is 20 minutes away and now jam-packed with people all day long). Eating is not an option.
It may seem unfair to judge tens of thousands of union members based on the actions of a few miscreants. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Every time a pilot does or says something stupid, it affects my whole industry–that’s why pilots know they have to police themselves. Should I hold an unskilled part-time grocery clerk to a lesser standard?
I don’t think so.