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LOS ANGELES - Union worker reps and supermarket management negotiators in southern California are still at it, but doubts are surfacing about whether an agreement for a new contract can be reached by the time a union-imposed deadline for a strike hits later this week.
Reuters reported yesterday that representatives for both sides were saying an agreement is not likely by Thursday, which is the deadline beyond which 65,000 union workers have said they are likely to strike at the three supermarket chains, Safeway, Kroger, and Supervalu, they are negotiating with.
Come Thursday, reps said the union would either advise its members to accept whatever proposal is on the table, or vote to authorize a strike. "I hope, we all hope, there's a deal we can recommend to our members," Mike Shimpock, spokesperson for the seven unions involved in negotiations, was quoted by Reuters as saying on Monday. "Unfortunately, that looks like that's not going to happen."
"We're not going to be rushed into agreeing to a bad contract if it's not in the best interest of our employees or our companies," said Adena Tessler, spokesperson for the supermarket chains.
Health care and wages are the prime bones of contention.