Going the distance
Jeffrey Sanders used to drive 97 miles one-way to report for work
After Jeffrey Sanders began working for Albertsons 30 years ago, he worked in many stores, participated in many grand openings, and drove many miles. “I drove 97 miles one way for two and a half years,” he recalled. “I opened the store in Hesperia while I was living in Los Angeles.” He eventually settled down when he was offered a job at Albertsons 2796 in Corona. That was 19 years ago, and he expects to be working at the same location until he retires in a few years. “I love this store,” he said. “The people here are like family. I’ve watched all the young ones grow up here.”
Eyes wide open
Before joining Albertsons, Sanders worked for Ralphs for a decade and then worked in construction for a couple of years. At the Corona store, he’s been the top steward for eight years. “My eyes really opened during the strike,” he said, referring to the 141-day supermarket labor dispute in 2003-04. “I learned about the union and what it does for members, and ever since then I’ve been answering questions about the union from my coworkers.” He said some members don’t even know where the union office is, “so I take them there and let them know all their questions about work, life, insurance and more can be answered there. There’s always somebody on duty to answer our calls.”
“I also encourage members, especially young members, to attend union meetings,” he continued. “Our union means strength. We have good wages, benefits, a pension and women in management because of what the union has done for us.
Thankful for benefits
“Thanks to the union, my kids always had medical benefits. My daughter wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the tremendous benefits of the union and the care they have for the members. It’s breathtaking! “But don’t take my word for it. Go and find out for yourself!”
Sanders’ 20-year-old son, Jeffrey Jr., works at Home Depot and is learning to become an auto mechanic. His daughter, Jazlynn, 18, is a senior at Granite Hills High School in Victorville, where she’s interested in the theater arts. “She’s getting straight As,” the proud dad said.
Jeffrey Sr. became a grandfather on Jan. 4. “All my spare time is spent with the grandbaby, Ocean Le-Ann, and I’m lovin’ it,” he said.
His advice to his fellow union members is: “Stay strong with the union and you’ll be all right. It’s the union that will take us to the next level.”