A strike by tens of thousands of central and southern California grocery employees was averted Monday after the workers’ union reached a tentative deal with several major supermarket chains.
A member-led bargaining committee that represented seven United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Locals reached the agreement with Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions and Ralphs stores.
The union says the new three-year contract includes higher wages, stronger health benefits, guaranteed hours for part-time workers, improved store safety and a secured pension.
"This tentative agreement is a big deal, and we are all excited," Manny Estrada, a pharmacy clerk at the Vons in Grover Beach and UFCW bargaining committee member, said in a release. "Grocery store workers have served our customers throughout the most difficult moments of our lifetime. We've kept the stores open and have contributed to the companies' successes."
Estrada added, "This is a well-deserved contract that we look forward to ratifying soon."
The deal won't be finalized until the union's roughly 47,000 members vote on it starting this week. Exact details will be released following the vote.
Workers at hundreds of Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions stores voted last week to authorize a strike if an agreement wasn’t reached.