More than 500 supermarkets in California remain open after supermarket operators and trade unions sign a deal on a new employment contract to prevent 47,000 employee strike
- The Ralphs division of Kroger Co. and Albertsons, which owns Vons and Pavilions, has reached an agreement with union leaders to prevent a strike Sunday
- The strike would have hit 500 stores in Southern California
- The terms of the agreement have been withheld until employees can review and vote on Monday, and the results will be announced on Thursday
- The contract between UFCW and the supermarket companies expired in March and a strike was allowed if new contracts could not be reached
Approximately 47,000 supermarket employees will not go on strike after two major supermarket operators in Southern California have made a provisional deal with unions on Sunday.
The Ralphs division of Kroger Co. and Albertsons, which owns Vons and Pavilions, reached the agreement to prevent a strike that would hit no fewer than 500 stores.
According to UFCW trade union officials representing around 60,000 grocers in Southern California, the terms of the agreement will be withheld until employees can review and vote on Monday. The results will be announced on Thursday.
"We believe that this agreement is a step forward towards our vision of what messages should be in the future," said John Grant, president of United 770, Food and Commercial Workers Local. Los Angeles Times.
& # 39; Consumers and community leaders stood with us to show our value and the impact we have in our stores and communities. We owe a lot for their support. & # 39;
UFCW grocers and trade union representatives held a two-hour boycott at the Ralphs in Garden Grove, California, and a deal was closed on Sunday to prevent further boycotts
Albertsons, who owns Vons and Pavilions, has reached an agreement with union leaders to prevent a strike Sunday
Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions have 342 stores and 29,000 union workers in the region.
Ralphs has 190 stores and 18,000 employees in the area.
Ralph's spokesman John Votava said: & We are delighted that we have worked with the union to ensure higher wages, continued health care premiums and retirement. Our employees form the heart of our company and this agreement reflects their contributions.
& # 39; Ralphs and the seven southern California UFCW residents have reached a preliminary agreement for a new contract for the company's 18,000 employees who work in 190 stores in Southern California. The parties were assisted by the federal mediation and mediation services. & # 39;
An Albertsons spokeswoman also confirmed that a provisional agreement had been reached NBC Los Angeles.
The contract between UFCW and the supermarket companies expired in March and a strike was allowed if new contracts could not be reached.
The contract negotiations related to health care, pensions and wages. The current wage ranges from $ 12.20 to more than $ 21, but with Los Angeles County raising the minimum wage to $ 13.25 / hour in January and $ 14.25 / hour as on July 1, lower paid union workers were entitled on that increase.
There was fear of a repeat of the supermarket strike in Southland in 2003-2004, which lasted almost five months (photo)
UFCW 135 issued a statement on Sunday announcing the provisional agreement.
& # 39; We know that the road here has been long for you and your colleagues. Your dedication to standing up for good jobs – engaging tens of thousands of customers with over 200 community rallies and store promotions – has been the driving force behind getting a deal you can be proud of.
& # 39; Your vote is what seals the deal and validates your contract. You are the ultimate decision maker for your employment conditions. At your voting location you will receive a copy of the provisional agreement and you can ask questions and go through the entire package & # 39 ;, the statement says.
It was feared that the supermarket strike in Southland in 2003-2004 would last for almost five months.
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