BURBANK, Calif., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Hollywood labor unions joined a picket line in Burbank Thursday to support striking and locked out grocery chain employees in Southern California.
Screen Actors Guild President Melissa Gilbert led a contingent of actors' union members that included Esai Morales ("NYPD Blue"), Mitchell Ryan ("Dharma & Greg") and Richard Thomas ("The Waltons") in an appearance at a Pavilions Market, which is owned by Safeway Inc.
After the United Food and Commercial Workers Union struck Safeway Oct. 11, the companies that operate the Albertons and Ralphs grocery chains locked union workers out, idling about 70,000 employees. Both sides have been meeting with a federal mediator.
The Thursday appearance by Gilbert -- and by leaders of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and several technicians' unions -- was also designed as a kickoff for a toy drive for families of striking and locked out employees.