Sacramento Valley Union Labor Bulletin

Owned and Published by the Sacramento Central Labor Council and the Sacramento-Sierra’s Building & Construction Trades Council, official councils of the AFL-CIO

LABOR BULLETINSLIDER

Labor Council calls for resignation over labor violations

By Sheri Williams

The Sacramento Central Labor Council is calling for the resignation of Sacramento City Council member Sean Loloee after a law enforcement raid recently at multiple locations of grocery stores owned by him.

“This council stands for workers, it’s that simple,” said Sacramento Central Labor Council Executive Director Fabrizio Sasso. “We cannot tolerate a political leader who exploits workers, especially vulnerable people who may fear the consequences of standing up for themselves.”

The law enforcement raid, which included state and federal authorities according to media reports, comes as part of an ongoing federal investigation against Loloee and his businesses that alleges labor violations. The raid included agents from the IRS, Homeland Security and Department of Treasury, who visited four Viva supermarkets in Sacramento County.

Loloee has not been arrested and denied any wrongdoing.

“My commitment to this district will not be distracted by anything,” he told media. “The district is my priority.”

Loloee told media he would not resign, but does not plan on running for another term.

The U.S. Labor Department sued Loloee in 2022 after three separate investigations found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The lawsuit alleges Loloee underpaid employees, engaged in child labor violations, and threatened workers with firings or immigration consequences if they cooperated with authorities investigating the matter.

That lawsuit is ongoing.

After the raid, the Labor Council released a letter calling on Loloee to reign.

“On behalf of the Sacramento Central Labor Council and the hardworking people of our community who make up its membership, it is with a deep sense of disappointment and concern that we address you today regarding recent news reports detailing a federal raid on your supermarkets and alleged labor violations within your establishments.”

The letter continued, “The very foundation of our democracy is built on the principles of transparency, accountability, and the upholding of the law. As public servants, elected officials are entrusted with the responsibility to serve as examples of ethical conduct and integrity in their professional and personal lives. Unfortunately, the allegations surrounding you and your businesses, as reported in the news, raise serious questions about your fitness to continue serving in your capacity as a Councilmember.

The allegations of labor violations and the federal raid on your supermarkets are not only deeply troubling, but they also undermine the trust that our community has placed in you.”

The letter pointed out that the Sacramento Central Labor Council has met with workers at Viva Supermarket and heard first-hand of unfair and alarming conditions of employment.

“This is not the first time we or federal authorities have raised these concerns, even after the Sacramento Central Labor Council met with a group of your workers who provided shocking details of repeated labor violations. We believe that these allegations must be taken seriously and addressed promptly to ensure that justice is served and the rights of all workers are protected. We believe that, given the gravity of these allegations, your persistent legal troubles, and their potential impact on the residents and workers of Sacramento, especially those in District 2, it is in the best interest of both your constituents and the principles of ethical governance that you immediately resign from your position as Councilmember. This is

a necessary step to maintain the integrity of public office and to prevent any further harm to the people you have sworn to represent.

Our organization stands firmly with the workers who may have been affected by the reported labor violations and offers our support in ensuring that their rights are protected and justice is served. We also urge you to cooperate fully with any investigations and legal proceedings to uphold the principles of fairness, justice, and accountability.”

The letter concluded, “We implore you to act in the best interest of the people of Sacramento and step down from your position as Councilmember immediately. By doing so, you will allow the community to begin the process of healing and rebuilding the trust that has been compromised. We hope that, through this action, you can demonstrate your commitment to the principles of good governance and justice.”