Food Workers Union Signs Tentative Wage Increase Deal

Unions representing 47,000 Southern California food workers tentatively signed a new three-year deal with Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions to avert a strike they authorized last week.

The deal will go to a vote this week by ordinary members of seven local residents of the United Food and Commercial Workers, which represent workers at 540 stores from San Diego to San Luis Obispo.

The unions delayed releasing details of the agreement until their members vote on it. But they praised the outcome, which they said included higher wages and improved benefits for essential workers who have been struggling in difficult conditions during the two-year pandemic. 95 percent of union members voted to go on strike if supermarkets refused to significantly increase wages.

“This is an amazing agreement that will help transform grocery store jobs and make our lives measurably better,” Rachel Fournier, a cashier at a Los Angeles Ralphs store and a member of the bargaining committee, said in a statement released by UFCW 770 18,000 workers in the Los Angeles area.

UFCW food workers in Los Angeles prepared strike signs on March 21.

Tyson Kehm (left) and Andrea Garcia help set signs ready to strike at the UFCW Local 770 headquarters in Los Angeles on March 21.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Another negotiation committee member, Manny Estrada, a pharmacist at a Vons in Grover Beach, called it “a big deal. Grocery store associates have served our customers through the most difficult moments of our lives. We kept the shops open and contributed to the success of the companies. This is a well-deserved treaty which we look forward to ratifying in the near future.”

A spokeswoman for Albertsons, the owner of Vons and Pavilions, confirmed that a tentative agreement had been reached. A spokesman for Ralphs, which is owned by Kroger, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-04-04/grocery-union-ralphs-albertsons-vons-pavilions Food Workers Union Signs Tentative Wage Increase Deal

Dais Johnston

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