Retailers and Grocery Workers Reach Tentative Deal
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - Unrest among grocery store workers for Albertsons-owned Vons and Pavilions and Kroger-owned Ralphs has been brewing for some time. A union vote at the end of June authorized a strike, but recently things got even more tense. But, to the relief of everyone, a tentative deal has been reached.
According to The Los Angeles Times, a strike would affect more than 500 stores and 47,000 workers across Southern California—a major hit for the region as Albertsons and Ralphs stores comprise nearly 40 percent of the SoCal grocery retail market. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 135 union announced on Sunday that a “tentative agreement has been reached with both companies.” In the same online post, UFCW Local 135 disclosed that the contract ratification votes will take place on September 9 and 10.
Contract negotiations included a range of issues including wages, healthcare, and pensions, The Los Angeles Times reported. To compromise, Ralphs spokesperson John Votava commented that the chain has offered hourly pay increases of $1.20 in total, spread over three years, though there was no word on whether this concession will change in the wake of continued negotiations.
Will other union members be swayed by the retailers’ steps towards compromise? How will the upcoming ratification vote play out? AndNowUKnow will keep you posted.