Health Care Benefits Boosted in Tentative Grocery Worker Deal
The United Food and Commercial Workers union and three grocery chains in Southern California on Tuesday reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract for 65,000 employees, the Los Angeles Times reports (Hirsch, Los Angeles Times, 7/18).
Union workers at Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons on Sunday will vote on whether to ratify the contract agreement (Calbreath/Darcé, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/18).
Sources said the new contract would reduce the waiting period for health care benefits from:
- 18 months to six months for newer employees; and
- 30 months to six months for children of newer workers (Los Angeles Times, 7/18).
Rick Icaza, president of UFCW Local 770, said, "We think it's an outstanding agreement." He added that he believes union members will approve the contract (Veiga, AP/Sacramento Bee, 7/18).
The settlement ended almost seven months of negotiations (Los Angeles Times, 7/18).
The union's previous contract expired March 5 and was extended twice during negotiations (Scott, Los Angeles Daily News, 7/17). The contract was the result of a 4.5-month strike and lockout in 2004.
A new contract typically is re-negotiated every three years (California Healthline, 6/5). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.