Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The United Food and Commercial Workers union has ratcheted up the pressure as contract talks continue with Southern California's three major grocery chains. KPBS's Alan Ray reports one of the three chains has been named as a possible "strike target".
The expired contract -- and negotiations -- have been extended for three weeks, but the Union has also announced it will take a strike vote Sunday for a possible walk-out at Albertsons stores.
Union leaders expect a strike will be approved, but they also say there would be no action until April 9th.
In 2004, it was agreement on a two-tier labor structure that ended a 4 ½ month strike and lockout at Albertstons, Ralphs and Vons. Now the Union wants to end that arrangement.
Mickey Kasparian, who leads San Diego local 135 says Albertsons was targeted because the union has had the most negotiations with that chain. But he also says Albertsons hasn't dealt with critical issues, like health care and eliminating the two-agree structure.
Alberstons says a strike would be ill-advised and unfair to consumers and grocery workers.