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Grocery store workers reach tentative agreement, potentially avoiding strike

Ralphs store
Posted at 6:52 PM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 22:38:46-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A tentative agreement was reached Monday during negotiations between labor unions and two grocery giants avoiding a potential strike.

A spokesperson with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 135 sent ABC 10News a statement Monday evening.

A tentative agreement was reached by the bargaining committee representing seven UFCW Locals across southern California and Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions, and Ralphs.
Once our members have had an opportunity to review and vote, we will release more information on this historic and transformational deal. Nothing is final until our members decide.
We are incredibly proud of our essential grocery members, whose hard work and determination to stand together, and willingness to fight for what they deserve, has made this agreement possible.

UFCW Local 135

The union is made up of seven UFCW union locals between Central California and the Mexico border, roughly 47,000 workers at more than 500 stores, including Ralphs, Vons, and Albertsons.

Union officials announced earlier this month that contract talks had stalled. A three-year-old labor contract between the unionized grocery workers and Southern California supermarkets expired on March 7. Grocery employees are continuing to work under the terms of the previous contract.

The union has been emphasizing the essential role grocery workers played during the pandemic.

Union officials said they are seeking a $5-per-hour wage hike, phased in over the next three years, along with bolstered safety standards and "adequate scheduling and hours."

The stores had offered annual 60-cent-per-hour wage increases over the next three years, totaling $1.80.

The details of the tentative agreement has yet to be released.

“We are pleased that this agreement allows us to put more money in our associates’ paychecks and secures healthcare and pension plans,” said Robert Branton, vice president of Operations at Ralphs.

Employees of Ralphs, Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons in 2019 voted to authorize a strike, but contracts ultimately were reached without a walkout.