Smart & Final Union Members Rally for Jobs, Wages

Workers want job security in wake of warehouse closings
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
Lynn Petrak profile picture
Teamsters 360 logo
Teamsters members at Smart & Final are marching on the Chedraui USA's corporate office to fight for job guarantees.

A labor dispute is bubbling up at the Smart & Final grocery operation of Chedraui USA. Members of the Teamsters Local 630 union who work at Smart & Final warehouses in Commerce, Calif., and Riverside, Calif., are taking part in a rally on Sept. 22 to protest Chedraui USA’s plan to shutter those facilities and make employees reapply for jobs at a new warehouse. Chedraui USA is the fourth largest grocery retailer in California, parent company for Smart & Final and other banners including El Super and Fiesta Mart.

The Smart & Final union members are seeking to have their jobs guaranteed with a union contract and fair wages. Their rally will take place outside Chedraui USA’s corporate offices in Commerce, Calif. Various elected officials and community groups are expected to be on hand.

[Read more: “Labor Union Opposes ALDI’s Acquisition of Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket”]

According to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News, workers at the Commerce warehouse make up to $32 an hour and those at the Riverside site earn slightly less. The 600-plus union members are concerned that their pay could be cut by as much as $10 an hour to align with wages paid to non-union workers at the El Super warehouses.

While the company is closing two warehouses that are affecting the protesting Teamsters members, Chedraui is planning to develop a 1.4 million-square-foot distribution facility in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., designed to increase distribution and warehouse capacity by 50%. Earlier this year, the business announced that the new facility will integrate operations from five smaller warehouses.

A 150-year-old grocery business, Commerce, Calif.-based Smart & Final was acquired in 2021 by Chedraui USA. That business is a subsidiary of Mexican supermarket operator Grupo Comercial ChedrauiGrupo Comercial Chedraui is No. 48 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

More Grocery Business News