Retail Clerks: 1970-79
The Retail Clerks union is a predecessor to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union that was formed during a merger between it and the Meatcutters union.

This album contains images from the Retail Clerks union including images from the Sept. 6-13 1974 retail clerks strike in the greater Washington DC area.

Over 13,000 Members of Retail Store Employees Union Local 400 struck Giant Food, Safeway, A&P, Acme, Food Fair and Grand Union after the rank and file twice rejected a contract negotiated by their union leadership fearing it would not keep pace with inflation.

The union leadership had sought to avert the problems that had occurred the previous year when the meat cutters union staged a strike and were defeated. The leadership of Local 400 entered into joint bargaining with their sister clerks union in the Baltimore area and were joined by both the Baltimore and Washington meat cutters unions.

When a tentative agreement with the employer group was reached, the other three unions ratified the agreement, significantly weakening any attempt by the Washington local to improve upon it. As with the meat cutters strike the year before (see Meat cutters Strike Betrayed set), the Teamsters union would not honor picket lines. International Teamsters President Frank Fitzsimmons had stated that as long as the AFL-CIO was supporting the United Farm Workers boycott (see Farm Workers Safeway Boycott set), he would not support any AFL-CIO union.

With their position deteriorating, a significant number of Local 400 members began crossing picket lines and returning to work. The union called for a third vote on the same offer on September 13 and this time the members voted 3628-1772 to accept. The eight day strike had been for naught.

Other images include a strike at People's Drug store and a strike in an attempt to organize a Discount Records and Books store.
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