Howard Modesto
American Brotherhood of Grocery Workers

Local 317

Dear New Member,

Congratulations and welcome to Local 317 of the American Brotherhood of Grocery Workers (ABGW)!

We’re pleased to have all of you from Maltek Automotive Systems on board. As a member, you’ve joined more than a union, you’ve joined a family. You’re automatically invited to monthly meetings, the annual Baggers Ball, our Family Fun Grocerloympic Picnic Fest and many other events where you can get to know your union brothers and sisters.

Some of you may be wondering exactly why a company that manufactures dashboard components is being represented by a union for grocery storeemployees. In fact, from what I’ve heard, many of you have asked this question repeatedly and with great spirit.

Well, the answer is plain and simple: Your shop organizers, after months of research and intense thought, finally decided to go with a group that had a great deal of experience and sway on a national level. We’re not just a bunch of “checkout girls” you’ve been “stuck in with” (thanks to the thirty-six of you who put that on your vote slips! Good one, guys!). In fact, only sixty-eight percent of our members are female and only about forty-five percent actually work the checkout counters!

Now, Bill Wayne, your shop steward, has sent us a list of concerns you’d like addressed in this year’s arbitration period. We will do our best to bring these to the attention of the management there at Maltek. However, the system we use here in the ABGW involves a complex formula using the number of people in a shop, seniority accrued as members and a few other factors (Bill has a number of pamphlets to explain this a bit better) to determine whose issues get hammered out first. Believe me, I know that the drill presses are a big problem over there- eight guys going home with holes in their hands is nothing to sneeze at- we have a number of grocery-related concerns to take care of first.

Rest assured, we may not perform the exact same jobs you do (as has been pointed out by phone calls here to the office, letters and scrawled notes on windshields), but we share your work ethic and will fight for the respect and compensation due to anyone trying to make an honest living. You can work and sleep easy knowing that, no matter what, you have the strength of over 80,000 ABGW members nationally and 125 members here in the greater Stockton area backing you up every step of the way. Not bad for a bunch of “checkout girls,” huh?

Also, please feel free to come by at 6 AM this Saturday for an informational picket at Lewis and Sons Shop Rite. See Bill Wayne for maps and instructions for making effective signs. Attendance is mandatory, as is the boycott against the whole Lewis and Sons Shop Rite Chain.

Again, welcome to the family!

Howard Modesto

Solidarity forever!