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Grocery Workers Closer To Strike Than Contract

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Workers say they are running out of patience with the region's three largest grocery chains. Several hundred union workers rallied at a San Diego Vons today.

— Yellow clad union workers cheered union leaders, politicians and clergy at the rally. It was a show of support for union workers who've been trying to negotiate a new contract since the beginning of the year. Pension and wages issues are resolved, but both sides remain far apart on health care.

"If they will just return to the table, again, with the same level of commitment that they had on pension, with health care, we can be optimistic," said Daymond Rice, Public Affairs Director for Vons.

He called talk of a strike counterproductive while there are still talks going on.

The contract with Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons stores expired in March, and workers gave union leaders the right to strike a month later.

"We are at a point right now, after six months of bargaining, to be in the same position that we literally were in February," said Mickey Kasparian, President of United Food and Commercial Worker's Union local 135.

Union leaders say they are closer to a strike than a contract. The union would have to give 72 hours notice before hitting the picket lines.

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