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100 Rally at Chula Vista Albertsons in Possible Strike Precursor

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

About 100 grocery union workers rallied at an Albertsons parking lot in Chula Vista today. They want more affordable health care and a wage increase. KPBS reporter Nicole Lozare has more.

Mark Booth has been getting ready for this battle for three years now.

The Albertsons checker put away a little bit of money each month. Now he's ready to strike -- for as long as he can afford it.

Booth : I'm concerned for some of my co-workers, especially the people who were hired in the last three years, who make so little money they just can't afford to be on the line for very long -- if there is a picket line.

Union workers say they will discuss the possibility of a strike if employers don't sign their contract by noon on Thursday. They want more affordable health care and a wage increase.

The contract talks affect some 65,000 grocery workers at Vons, Ralph's and Albertson's stores in Southern California.

The last negotiation three years ago resulted in a bitter five-month-long strike.

Nicole Lozare, KPBS News.

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