With a giant holiday garland made of 5,000 signed “solidarity postcards,” Ahold workers — both union and non-union from the United States and the Netherlands — came together to speak out at Ahold’s US headquarters in Carlisle, Pennsylvania yesterday afternoon. The workers, joined by supporters from 23 local unions from along the East coast, were met by security at Ahold’s front door. Security refused to let the group in to talk to Ahold’s USA Chief Operating Officer, Carl Schlicker or his successor James McCann about their concerns.
“We were very polite and orderly,” said Milton Dews, a Local 400 member and shop steward from Giant #341. “I was very disappointed that they wouldn’t let us in to talk to anyone higher up. We were there to express our concerns and show support for those workers who are non-union because we are all one company, Ahold, and all workers should be treated fairly with the same rights across all the different branches of the company.”
When Ahold security refused to take the festive “gifts,” the crowd began to sing “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” while draping the garland on a nearby tree and placing gift boxes full of more postcards underneath it. They topped off the holiday display with an oversized holiday card signed by all in attendance.
“This action is the first of its kind for this Ahold campaign,” said Stephanie Pryor, a Local 400 member from Giant #326. “It was really exciting to see the unity between all the locals and it was an honor to have members who traveled all the way here from the Netherlands who work at Albert Heijn standing with us.”
Check out photos from the Holiday Action at the iHold Campaign’s Facebook Page. http://facebook.com/iholdcampaign