TRACY — Allegations of picket line violence prompted a judge to issue a restraining order against workers striking at the massive warehouse that supplies Safeway stores in three western states.
A San Joaquin County judge issued the order against Teamsters Local 439 in response to violent acts allegedly committed by striking workers over the weekend. The union is striking for higher wages and to improve working conditions at the warehouse in Tracy, which is owned and operated by Summit Logistics Inc.
The vast warehouse distributes goods to about 240 Safeway stores in Northern California, Nevada and Hawaii.
The court order issued Sunday limits the number of pickets at the entrance to 10 and prohibits protesters from committing acts of violence and intimidation.
The union has broken its promise to engage in peaceful protest, prompting the need for a court order, Summit President Martin Street said Monday.
Teamsters spokesman Danny Beagle dismissed the order, saying it wouldn’t hamper the union’s presence at the warehouse.
Protesters threw rocks at vehicles over the weekend, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office. On Saturday, a man identified as a Teamster was arrested on suspicion of throwing a rock at a car and injuring someone inside.
Workers also attempted to drag a Summit supervisor from his car as he was coming to work Friday, Summit officials said.
Beagle said that union members threw rocks but that nobody was dragged from a car.
Teamsters representatives have condemned violence committed by union members but have maintained that the protests have been largely peaceful.