Grocery Stores Strike A Deal With Unions
UPDATED: The UFCW and the Southern California supermarkets announced Monday morning that a strike has been averted and a tentative agreement reached.
Will there be a strike?
The deadline for negotiation was at 7:10pm Sunday Night, but union offiicals have told their members to return to work today.
The United Food and Comericals Workers Union, which represents 62,000 grocery clerks in Southern California, cancelled their contract extention and gave 72 hours notice. Back and forth negotiation have been happening since then.
Health benefits are at the heart of the disagreements. With rising medical costs, grocery workers want to be able to pay less for health coverage, and still receive the same or more benefits. The grocery stores account the coverage as necessary to offset the rising medical costs. According to the Los Angeles Times, the current offer includes workers payign $9 weekly for indvidiual coverage, and $23 for family coverage.
Sunday night a candlelight vigil with grocery workers and supporters was held at the Vons in Beverly Hills.
No one wants a repeat of the strike in 2003 that lasted over 100 days.
It's tough times for everyone invovled: "We've seen cuts in pay and benefits, and I understand why the workers want a contract. But at the same token, these are tough times for consumers as well," Said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
It's a good sign no strike has happened yet, with both sides still talking maybe the whole thing can be avoided.