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The Financial Times reports Tesco goes to court today in California to fight a legal challenge that would stop construction of its distribution and food processing center in Riverside County, a delay that the retailer says could cost it more than $50 million.

The court challenge calls for a 13-week delay in construction until a hearing can be held in June; it has been filed by Health First, a group that says it is concerned about air quality in the region. However, there has been speculation and accusations that Health First is simply a beard for union organizers looking to slow Tesco down because it has not committed to hiring a unionized workforce. Health First is unknown to California environmental activists, and reportedly has refused to provide documentation about who or what is providing its funding.

In fact, FT notes that a leading and legitimate local environmental group is backing the Tesco building project.
KC's View:
If indeed Health First is just a way for the union to slow down Tesco under the guise of other priorities, then the courts ought to toss the case fast and let Tesco get to work.

If the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) – which has said that it will do everything it can to stop Tesco’s expansion in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada – is resorting to subterfuge to get its way, then it is behaving without honor and honesty.

Then again, what else is new? As time goes on, it becomes increasingly clear that union organizers are far more interested in their own power and influence than in the well being of their members. Otherwise, they’d simply wait to see how much Tesco is paying its employees and what level of benefits it is offering…and then make a decision whether to try to organize the retailer’s workers.