Mi Pueblo In Peril

This just sucks all around:

Mi Pueblo, a Latino supermarket chain with humble roots, faces the prospect of a mass layoff, a boycott and a federal investigation — all because of questions about its employees’ legal status and right to work in the U.S.

The Northern California grocery chain imports and produces a full spectrum of foods from Mexico. Its 21 stores, and counting, pop up in urban food deserts that stores like Safeway don’t touch.


We love Mi Pueblo. It’s the nearest grocery store to our house, and I wrote about how happy we are to have it in our neighborhood. It is absolutely, definitely, POSITIVELY serving a big demographic and a vital need in our area.

At first blush this story like a straightforward, fuck-our-immigration-policy sucks story, nicely and neatly fitting into an existing liberal thought-box. But because this is the Bay Area we get an extra little piece of insanity that also reflects poorly on left-wing orthodoxy. There’s a union that’s actually calling for a boycott of Mi Pueblo…because they have been forced to follow the law.

It’s ironic for Mi Pueblo to defend itself from charges of betraying employees and siding with the federal government. The company was founded by Juvenal Chavez, a former janitor who came to the U.S. from Mexico without legal documents.

Now the grocery chain faces a boycott from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5.

So there you have it. A mid-size local business, serving a HUGE local need, is under threat both from a bullying union and from anti-immigrant federal policy. And all I really know is that this is going to make my life so much worse.

2 Responses to “Mi Pueblo In Peril”

  • Aunt Judy Says:

    I ate lunch yesterday at the Mi Pueblo in East Palo Alto. We drove up for a doctor appointment, and discovering Mi Pueblo was the best part of the day by far. We ate pupusas and bought guava paste to take home. The deli was hopping–I wouldn’t have known about the problems. What a shame that they’re being hassled.

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