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Grocery workers forge tentative labor agreement with Stater Bros.

After months of failed negotiations, union representatives for Stater Bros. workers have reached a tenative labor agreement with the supermarket chain.

Details of the contract were not revealed, but United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 announced the update Friday, April 1 in a post on its website.

“Your hard work and dedication to standing together has resulted in a tentative agreement for a new contract with Stater Bros.,” the union wrote. “Now it’s up to you to make the ultimate decision whether to accept the terms of this historic agreement. Please stand by for information on voting and details of the offer.”

Ralphs, which is also in active negotiations with UFCW but has yet to reach a labor agreement with its workers, released a statement late Friday.

“While some retailers may choose other options, we have to do what is best for our associates and customers,” said Robert Branton, the company’s vice president of operations. “We look to UFCW to resume balanced and meaningful negotiations.”

Thousands of Southern California grocery workers employed by Ralphs, Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons voted Saturday, March 26 to authorize their union to call a strike.

The “yes” vote doesn’t automatically mean a strike will take place, but it authorizes UFCW to call a walkout if no progress is made during contract negotiations.

Branton said Ralphs is looking to boost employee paychecks and continue to provide sound healthcare benefits, while also keeping groceries affordable.

Ralphs workers are seeking a $5-an-hour pay increase over a three-year labor contract.

Ralphs’ latest proposal includes an investment of more than $141 million in new wages over the next three years. It would include a yearly 60-cent raise in 2022 through 2024. So a checker with five years experience who currently earns $22.50 an hour would earn $24.30 an hour by 2024.

Source: Orange County Register

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