Strike leaves some Safeway shelves bare
Products on local Safeway shelves are disappearing fast, but officials say the situation is improving.
A three-week-old strike by Teamsters Local 439 and Summit Logistics Inc., a food distribution and transportation company, has made an impact on Safeway customers throughout Northern California. There are fewer products available and some are completely missing.
“I found everything I needed today but last week I had a problem finding a few things. I was looking for those little hot dog wieners for a dinner party, some chips and juice,” said Maggie Butler, a shopper at the Safeway store in Truckee Monday. “I haven’t really heard much about the strike but I wish they would keep us up to date.”
The seventh-largest logistics company in the world, Summit Logistics delivers products to all 246 Safeway stores in the Northern California division. Approximately 1,600 distribution warehouse workers and truckers with Summit Logistics are on strike.
“Impacts on the stores are temporary and are not widespread,” said David Bowlby, Northern California public affairs director for Safeway. “The situation is getting better and better, and products are returning to the stores quicker and quicker.”
Bowlby said to help supplement the transportation crisis, Safeway is distributing Safeway brand milk and eggs to each of the stores, and vendors of meat and produce are delivering supplies directly. In addition, Summit Logistics has hired some replacement workers to replace those on strike.
“The replacement workers coupled with our distribution workers are making sure we have timely delivery to our stores,” Bowlby said.
Many Truckee residents are still unaware of the strike with Summit Logistics.
“I found everything I needed today, but they definitely had things they didn’t have the last time,” said Kim Shacter, a local shopper who buys most of her perishable products from markets with organic goods. “But I would consider going elsewhere if things got worse. I don’t have loyalty to one store more than another.”
Bowlby said he didn’t know when the strike at Summit Logistics might end, but that he was optimistic Safeway would be able to replace products to keep up with the demand.
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