GROCERY CHAINS, WORKERS REACH “TENTATIVE SETTLEMENT”
Von’s, Albertsons and Ralph’s grocery workers were scheduled to go out on strike today, but late last night a “tentative settlement” was reached, the strike was averted – at least for the moment, and the stores opened this morning with their employees at their usual posts.
The workers will vote on the settlement Saturday.
Von’s had announced that it would close its stores if there were a strike, and Albertsons said it would close about 100 stores. Only Ralph’s stores planned to employ non-union workers and remain open.
During the last strike, in 2003, which lasted for over 100 days, the chains allegedly lost billions of dollars, and many customers who shopped at non-union stores during the strike and never returned to the supermarkets.
The primary issue this time was health care insurance. While the workers have increased their contributions, the chains refused to increase their portion. Workers charged that unless the chains put more into the plan, it would go bankrupt.