About the Boycott
Southern California United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union locals 324, 770, 1428 and 1167 represent approximately 600 El Super workers employed at seven locations.
Despite El Super workers’ overwhelming vote in favor of unionization and support for a resumption of negotiations, the company refused to resume contract negotiations. Management said it would not return to negotiations until 2019. El Super’s inaction, and its steadfast refusal to return to the table and address the workers’ priorities – such as more guaranteed hours, adequate sick leave, and fair pay – led union members to a call for a consumer boycott of El Super markets on December 20, 2014. The boycott will continue until El Super workers have won respect and a fair contract with El Super.
As of March 2016, the boycott picket lines have been established at 22 high-volume El Super stores in California, 45% of Chedruai’s U.S. locations. The informational picket lines run on the four busiest shopping days of the week. Over two million El Super shoppers have been directly engaged and more than 10% of those customers have agreed to honor the boycott.
The boycott has been endorsed by more than 100 community organizations with broad reach across the state of California including the 2.1 million member statewide California Labor Federation, as well as the Los Angeles and Orange County Labor Federations.
Dozens of elected leaders including members of the U.S. Congress, the California State Senate and Assembly, Mayors, City Councilpersons and School Board members have endorsed the boycott, and most of them have also sent letters addressed to El Super CEO Carlos A. Smith – urging a swift and just resolution to the dispute.
Seven California cities have passed Resolutions in support of El Super workers and their boycott. And, in addition, eighteen certified Neighborhood Councils in the City of Los Angeles have passed Resolutions endorsing the El Super boycott.
Additionally, the UFCW has launched a consumer education campaign including direct mail and other communications with El Super customers. This effort has covered an area including 90% of El Super’s stores.
About El Super
El Super is managed by the Paramount, California, based Bodega Latina Corp. The company is focused on serving first, second and third-generation consumers of Mexican descent. Chedraui’s 2010 Final Offering Circular states: “We have focused on perishable and Latin American products targeted to Hispanic, and in particular Mexican-American, consumers and believe the Mexican-American retail market is a niche that presents important growth opportunities, given the growing size and increasing purchasing power of this group of consumers.”
El Super was incorporated in 1995 and has grown rapidly since 2004, when Chedraui raised its equity stake in the business to 66%. Since 2015, El Super has opened eight new stores – bringing its total to 57 locations. It has 46 stores in California, five stores in Arizona, three in Nevada, two in Texas and one in New Mexico.
About Grupo Comercial Chedraui, S.A.B. DE C.V.
Grupo Comercial Chedraui (Chedraui) is Mexico’s third-largest retail chain with over 35,000 employees in 224 stores throughout the country. Through its 84.85% ownership stake, Chedraui controls California-based Bodega Latina Corporation, which does business as the El Super grocery chain.
Chedraui’s 2015 Net Sales were approximately $78.6 billion pesos and its gross profit was over $15.6 billion pesos. The El Super stores have become a significant contributor to the company’s revenue, accounting for over 25% of Chedraui’s total sales, and contributing net sales of $20.1 billion pesos in 2015 despite a 0.1% decrease in same store sales on a weekly basis.
Forbes estimated (January 2013) the personal wealth of Chedraui’s Chairman of the Board, Alfredo Chedraui Obeso, at over $1 billion. Forbes reported in October 2014 that Mr. Chedraui Obeso is the owner of the 163-foot super yacht, Tsumat, for which he paid an estimated $50 million.