“Regardless of what you may think of us, we have a right to be there. We’re all a bunch of independent businesses and subcontractors and we’ve had enough. Safeway’s rules have gotten to the point that they’re not just restricting time, place and manner anymore.” — Rick Fenton
The signature gatherers strike back! - ContraCostaTimes.com
By Josh Richman
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 at 4:38 pm in ballot measures.
Dozens of ballot-measure petition signature gatherers plan to besiege the Pleasanton headquarters of grocery giant Safeway at 11 a.m. tomorrow to protest a new company policy barring such solicitors from stores.
Or, as they put it, they’re going “to protest the company’s policy of denying citizens their constitutional right to free speech.”
“Safeway’s unconstitutional policies specifically target the rights of citizens to lawfully collect signatures to qualify ballot measures,” a news release said. “Recently Safeway managers have been harassing, photographing, and threatening signature gatherers with restraining orders, denying their right to participate in California’s direct democracy.”
And their right to get paid, no doubt.
“This is quite hilarious,” Safeway spokeswoman Susan Houghton said today after reading the news release – managers have indeed taken pictures, but only to demonstrate to courts how the signature gatherers are disrupting the stores’ entrances and exits. “We’re taking a pretty aggressive stance, we’re actually filing injunctions against some of these individuals, because our customers are just fed up with it.”