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STOCKTON, Calif. - Fifty-nine Raley's supermarkets in Northern California averted a shutdown of their pharmacy operations yesterday when the chain called the pharmacists' union back to the negotiating table, according to a report in The Stockton Record.
Talks had broken off Friday, and the Independent Pharmacists' Association, representing some 240 pharmacists and pharmacy workers, scheduled a strike for Tuesday, according to union president Michael Ureda, a Raley's pharmacist in Lodi.
Pharmacists are seeking a new deal that they say will bring them in line with the rest of their profession across the country. The key issues are health benefits and working conditions. Ureda said Raley's requires pharmacists to be on duty straight through an eight- to 10-hour shift without a meal break. "Raley's policy says that even if you are very ill, they want you to come in and work until they find a replacement," he added.
Ureda maintains that wages for Raley's pharmacists fall below industry standards. "We currently are below what the rest of the industry pays, by several dollars an hour at the moment. We're just trying to get what they get," Ureda said.