Grocery Chain, Union Negotiating Contract Terms
Supermarket chain Stater Bros. and the United Food and Commercial Workers union have reached a tentative labor agreement that will improve health benefits and end the two-tier wage system, according to sources familiar with the deal, the Los Angeles Times reports. The current contract expires March 5.
Neither party provided details of the contract, pending a vote Wednesday by 14,000 Stater employees.
UFCW plans to use the contract as the model for its negotiations with three grocery chains -- Safeway-owned Vons and Pavilions, Kroger-owned Ralphs and Albertsons stores -- involved in a 4.5 month strike and lockout that ended in February 2004.
The final deal established the two-tier pay system that resulted in lower wages for new employees and longer waiting periods to qualify for health insurance, according to the Times (Hirsch, Los Angeles Times, 1/13).