Six union locals representing 62,000 grocery workers in Southern California reached agreement Monday with the owners of Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons over wages and benefits, averting a threatened strike.
Local 770 of the United Food and Commercial Workers – the SCV’s “local local” – told its members late Monday morning that it had “reached a settlement that protects your health care.”
The six UFCW affiliates began negotiating with the three supermarket chains in February to craft a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the workers’ previous contract, which expired in March. The main sticking point was a dispute over who should pay for health insurance coverage. Thursday evening, the six locals issued a 72-hour notice of their intent to break from the talks, paving the way for a strike.
The deal was reached Monday after a marathon bargaining session that lasted more than 24 hours and saw Sunday night’s strike deadline come and go.
Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons issued a joint statement saying they at “reached a tentative settlement agreement with the union that continues to preserve good wages, secure pensions and access to quality, affordable health care – while allowing us to be competitive in the marketplace.”
“Thanks to the unity of our members and the hard work of our negotiating team,” said UFCW Local 324 President Greg Conger, “we were successful in bargaining an agreement that grocery workers can be proud of. We have attained our most important goal, which was continuing to provide comprehensive health care to the members and their families.”
Conger praised the efforts of federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh and said the united grocery workers “refused to accept anything less than a contract that protects their wages, benefits and working conditions.”
The pact must still be approved by the union membership.
Read the story from earlier Monday here: http://scvnews.com/?p=19199
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