The atmosphere was really cheerful and upbeat at the grocery store today. After negotiating for six months, at times with considerable rancor, the Groceryworkers Union and the big three (Ralph’s, Vons and Albertson’s) agreed on a new contract yesterday. No strike. Whew.
My hat is off to the rank and file workers at the Vons where I shop. Throughout the entire six months they have been cheerful and pleasant to the customers, and have provided outstanding service. Whenever I have stopped to look for something a worker has asked if they could help me. The check-out person has always smiled and thanked me by name for my business, and I have always been asked if I would like any help getting my purchase to my car.
Ralph’s, where I used to shop, was a different story. Their people were always pleasant until the negotiations began to drag out, and then their attitude became indifferent at best and often quite surly. It was that which caused me to take my business to Vons. It seems to me that Ralph’s has a bit of a management problem, and they certainly have a people problem.
Ralph’s people may be more friendly now that they have a contract, but I’m going to keep my business at Vons. Those folks have been a credit to their store and to their union and they have earned my continuing business.