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BUENA PARK, Calif. -- Ahead of a June 21st deadline for a contract settlement, hundreds of union members and grocery workers plan to rally at Albertsons corporate headquarters in Fullerton today, to demand a fair contract for grocery store employees, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 324.
The union said demonstrators will call for Albertsons President Pete Van Helden to sign a pledge card guaranteeing the solvency of the health care trust fund that pays the medical bills of grocery workers and their families. The union said Albertsons has proposed a funding plan that the union contends could bankrupt that fund.
Local 324 and six other UFCW locals have been in negotiations with Ralphs, Vons, and Albertsons for nearly six months, three months past the expiration of the original contract. Grocery workers have not had a wage increase since 2002, the union said.
Union officials said the grocers' proposed health care plan falls short of the funding needed to keep the plan solvent through the life of the contract.
"It is a very simple concept," said Teferi Gebre of the Orange County Central Labor Council. "They are insisting that their current health care proposal includes enough funding, but our experts disagree."
Albertsons could not be reached for comment at press time.