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    Dominick's Supermarket Employees Ratify Contract

    CHICAGO -- Union employees at Dominick's supermarkets voted Sunday to accept a new eight-month contract, avoiding a strike threatened for later this week and paving the way for parent company Safeway Inc. to find a buyer for the stores.

    CHICAGO -- Union employees at Dominick's supermarkets voted Sunday to accept a new eight-month contract, avoiding a strike threatened for later this week and paving the way for parent company Safeway Inc. to find a buyer for the stores.

    A spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents 9,000 workers at the supermarket chain, said their contract includes the same terms as the contract that expired Nov. 9, and is "a good deal" for workers.

    Safeway agreed last week to seek out a buyer for the group of 113 Chicago-area stores it bought in 1998. The company said earlier that it couldn't continue to operate Dominick's unless it got contract concessions from workers and that it might be forced to close the stores.

    Union spokesman S.J. Peters said Monday that workers would support Safeway's efforts to find a buyer for the stores.

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