UFCW Picketing W. Sacramento Nugget, Walmart Stores

In the wake of informational pickets the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) 8-Golden State labor union is staging against Nugget Market Inc. and a Walmart Supercenter in West Sacramento, Calif., the chief executive of the Woodland, Calif.-based Nugget Market is blasting the action as “baseless and inaccurate” while vigorously defending his company’s well respected record as an employer.

Citing Nugget Market’s national recognition for the past six consecutive years as one of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, Eric Stille, president/CEO, said, “It’s ironic that UFCW 8-Golden State Union has chosen to picket Nugget Market under the guise that Nugget’s pay and benefits package is inferior to current union employment contracts. These claims are baseless and inaccurate and couldn’t be further from the truth.”

To the contrary, Stille noted Nugget’s “industry leading wages, outstanding benefits and positive work environment,” all of which have been integral in helping the regional grocer earn national recognition from both Fortune and the Great Place to Work Institute “for our high-caliber workplace and benefits. A large portion of Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ audit is based on surveying our associates, who have consistently given Nugget Market a strong rating. In fact, for the past three years, Nugget has ranked among the top 10 in the nation,” Stille affirmed.

“Further adding to the irony,” he continued, “the union has cast doubts on our benefits package, while their own pension fund is in critical shape and has been identified as one of the worst in the nation. Since the union contract will expire October 8,” Stille said “it appears that the anti-Nugget campaign is actually a veiled attempt to bolster their contract negotiations with Safeway, Raley’s, and Save Mart.”

The privately held, family-owned Nugget Market, Inc., founded by Mack and William Stille in 1926, owns and operates nine Nugget Markets and three Food 4 Less stores in the northern California region.

Meanwhile, Jacques Loveall, president of the Roseville, Calif.-based UFCW 8-Golden State, which represents 35,000 grocery and drug store, food-processing plant and office workers, said: “Our members are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that workers at Nugget Markets and Walmart have the same access to the good wages, health care benefits, pensions and job security provisions that are enjoyed by union members.”

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