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Posts Tagged ‘Grocery Workers to Strike’

From the L.A. Times:

In a bid to speed up negotiations that have dragged on for more than eight months, union officials representing supermarket workers in Southern California took a step closer Thursday night to going on strike.

Officials from the United Food and Commercial Workers gave 72 hours notice to cancel their labor contract extension with the region’s three leading grocery chains, a mandatory step before a walkout. Once the contract is no longer in effect, grocery workers can strike at any time.

The contract covered an estimated 62,000 checkers, baggers, meat cutters and other grocery workers across the region, including those employed by Ralphs, which is owned by Kroger Co. of Cincinnati; Vons and Pavilions, owned by Safeway Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif.; and Albertsons, which is owned by SuperValu Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minn.

Greg Conger, president of UFCW Local 324 in Orange County, said union officials felt they had no choice but to take this step. “It’s time to bring these negotiations to an end,” Conger said. “The talks have been going at a glacial pace. “If the employers don’t snap out of it, and give our members a proposal that we can live with, the only option we have left is a strike.”

The sticking point?  Healthcare.

Under the latest offer from the employers, grocery workers would pay $9 a week for individual coverage and $23 a week for a family, company and union officials said.

Wow.  $36 per month for an employee’s share of healthcare.  I wish.  Juxtapose that with this headline:

Unemployment Worsens in California

The unemployment picture in California – the largest state by population – worsened in August, as the jobless rate ticked up to 12.1 percent.

Only neighboring Nevada – at 13.4 percent — has a higher unemployment rate in the nation. (On the whole, the jobless rate for the country is at 9.1 percent).

California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) said employers in the state slashed payrolls by 8,400 during the month. The government in particular is shedding positions at an alarming rate – local and state government agencies cut 3,600 positions in August.

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