In support of grocery store employees on strike, a coalition of about 20 UCI students protested inside the Albertsons grocery store on Campus Drive between 7 and 8 p.m. on Oct. 29.
For 20 minutes the students discreetly filled 10 shopping carts with groceries, then abandoned them throughout the store. The students then gathered in the store’s produce section and collectively exited the store chanting, ‘Hey, hey, ho, ho, the scabs have got to go,’ and ‘a people united will never be defeated.’
Albertsons workers, security guards and managers briefly paused to observe the events and were visibly confused by the protest. The in-store protest was continued outside for another 20 minutes as grocery strikers joined the students in chant-ing and marching along the front of the store.
The Campus Drive Albertsons branch manager claimed to have no prior knowledge of the events, thus was unable to comment, and Albertsons, Inc. could not be reached for comment.
Several factors were mentioned as influencing the students’ decision to take this particular action.
‘We wanted to give the workers a morale boost,’ said Nic Ramos, an event organizer, former ASUCI vice president of academic affairs and a fifth-year political science and Asian-American studies major. ‘We just wanted to let them know that we’re not cool with a contract not coming up.’
In addition, the event was meant to be an outcry against replacement grocery workers.
‘We especially wanted to come out against scabs, especially university students who really need to understand that when we get out of college we’ll be in the same position … as workers,’ Ramos said.
Still others believe that the event served to promote community awareness for the cause of the strikers.
Jollene Levid, an event organizer and a fourth-year political science major said, ‘We’re not just standing aside and being reactionary