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Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) employed at Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons stores in Southern California have reached a tentative agreement with the companies. The tentative agreement was reached after eight months of negotiations.
Union members will vote on the proposals in meetings over the next week. The agreement boosts wages and protects health care and pension benefits for the duration of the three-year contract.
“We are pleased to reach an agreement that will continue to provide our associates the best total compensation package in our industry in Southern California,” said Donna Giordano, president of Compton, Calif.-based Ralphs, a division of Kroger in Cincinnati. “The patience displayed by our associates during this process has been nothing short of remarkable.”
Ralphs’ agreement with UFCW Locals 8, 135, 324, 770, 1167, 1428 and 1442 covers 19,000 associates working in 256 stores in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
Once ratified, the new contract will cover 62,000 UFCW grocery workers, the largest bargaining unit in the UFCW. Another 28,000 employees at regional chains such as Stater Bros., Food 4 Less and Gelson’s are covered by the successful resolution of the Southern California contract. The contract covering 45,000 grocery workers in northern California expires next month.
The UFCW represents a total of 1.3 million workers.