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Study: Decline Rate of Grocery Worker Health Coverage is Shocking

A University of California economist says it is no surprise that health care benefits are again a stumbling block in contract talks between three major grocery store chains and union workers.

A University of California economist says it is no surprise that health care benefits are again a stumbling block in contract talks between three major grocery store chains and union workers.

UC Berkley researcher Ken Jacobs recently completed a study evaluating health care coverage for Vons, Ralph's and Albertson's workers under the recently expired contract. He says only about ten percent of workers hired under the deal are currently insured.   Jacob says it shocking how quickly health care coverage evaporated. 

Jacobs : It is very dramatic and very disturbing, but it does really reflect the long term trends. And if changes aren't make on a policy level we will see much greater deterioration in job-based coverage in the state.

Union negotiators are trying to regain some of the benefits they lost under the contract that expired in March. The union left the talks earlier this week, but both sides have agreed to return to the bargaining table next week. 65,000 workers are affected by the contract.