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On the Picket Line This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     I have been able to manage working 20 hours a week on the picket line and at Max Foods for 30 hours a week in addition to going to school and keeping up with my schoolwork and personal life. I work at Von's market and work hard. My job is a courtesy clerk and I push carts and bag groceries. I do a good job, and have proved to the managers that I can do any task.

Last October, my job changed drastically - I have been on strike with 70,000 other employees. It has been tough because I am an employee at Von's and my mom is too. We took a drastic pay cut and are doing the best we can to make ends meet.

A typical day on the picket line consists of keeping people out of the markets. We pass out flyers and say, "Help us out today. Please do not shop at Von's. We need our jobs back. Max Foods is only a block away." Many customers go elsewhere, to which we say, "Thank you very much." We have to do at least four hours a day for five days a week. The check at the end of the week is small, but it is for a good fight. There were days when the anticipation was high that we may return to work because the company and the union were talking. But every time it turns out badly, which means one more day for us to be outside. This is something I truly believe in, which is why I have put in so many hours in on the picket lines.

There is no reason why the company cannot pay for some of our medical insurance costs when it makes millions of dollars in profits. I have learned that I do not want to make working in the grocery store my career. I want to go to college, so I can have a career I enjoy. The grocery and food business is not the place for me.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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