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Over 600 Will Lose Their Jobs at Smart and Final in Commerce and Riverside

Striking Smart and Final workers at the Commerce distribution facility.

November 1, 2023

By Brian Hews

Smart & Final warehouse workers began their strike today in Commerce and Riverside against their employer, Bodega Latina Corp., the owner of the Fiesta Market and El Super chains.

Workers and the Teamsters Local 630 union are protesting the Commerce-based company to push for a contract that includes job protections and better wages.

Bodega acquired Smart & Final from private equity owner Apollo Global Management for approximately $620 million plus debt in 2021.

The company plans to close two warehouses in Commerce and Riverside and say they will fire 600 workers from those facilities, forcing them to “reapply” for their jobs at a Rancho Cucamonga warehouse expected to open next year.

Workers at the two plants voted to join the Teamsters in May of this year, the union said. The Teamsters say the company is trying to bust the nascent union.

Some of the workers have been at the facility for 30 years. One worker told KTLA, “We are the backbone of this company, we helped build it, they bought it for really cheap, and now they are firing us.”

Another employee who sits at the table for negotiations said, “The attorney for the company has no interest in negotiating a fair contract; he told us both verbally and in writing that we’re all fired, including management and employees, and they will integrate us into the new facility. They want to cut all costs.”

The Teamsters said a few workers crossed the picket line, but according to the union, the facility is experiencing a significant slowdown.

It is an open-ended strike, so the workers could be on the picket line for weeks.

Bodega declined to comment.

  • formeremployee says:

    lets hope that the wages for the smart and final truck drivers stay the same which varies 36.00 to 39.00 hour when moving into the new warehouse. I’m hearing that the company drivers don’t need to reapply at the new facility good luck to all.