Labor Union Fires At Tesco

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Labor Union Fires At Tesco

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, a nationwide grocery workers union, has set up a "Fresh & Queasy" Web site accusing Tesco PLC's British stores of being environmentally careless in selling spoiled and pesticide-tainted food, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Tesco has opened about 30 of its new Fresh & Easy stores in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona over the past two months. These stores tout wholesome food selections, convenience and environmental friendliness, the newspaper stated.

About 170 more stores are in the 2008 pipeline for the three states, including what industry observers believe could be about 30 in the Sacramento and Bay Area regions, making Fresh & Easy a major non-union grocery player in California.

Fresh & Easy spokesman Brendan Wonnacott declined to respond to the union's criticisms. He told the Bee that the company's nonunion employees "continue to be very happy" and urged shoppers to "come and check us out. It's up to them to judge us."

The UFCW's criticisms of Tesco are reminiscent of its campaign against Wal-Mart, also a nonunion company that sells groceries. A UFCW-sponsored Web site,, has continually jabbed the retailer for everything from employees' pay and benefits to hazardous Chinese toy imports, the report stated.