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Supermarket strike one step closer

September 16, 2011 | 11:45 am

Union officials representing workers at Southern California grocery stores moved one step closer to a strike Thursday when they gave notice of their intention to cancel negotiations with the three major chains, reports P.J. Hufstutter.

Officials from the United Food and Commercial Workers gave 72 hours notice to cancel their labor contract extension with the region's three leading grocery chains, a mandatory step before a walkout. Once the contract is no longer in effect, grocery workers can strike at any time.

The move does not mean that workers will necessarily walk off the job Sunday at the three chains: Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons.

The union members could instead keep working while negotiations continue.

The grocery union's last strike was in 2003 and lasted 141 days, leaving workers with massive personal debts and costing the chains an estimated $2 billion.


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Photo: Jacqueline Whittington straightens picket signs. Southern California grocery stores may be headed for a strike. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times