Labor talks between Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons and workers put on hold
The labor negotiations between Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons, and the seven United Food and Commercial Workers union area locals were temporarily put on hold Tuesday because the federal mediator responsible for overseeing the talks had to leave Southern California to deal with a family emergency.
The negotiations are expected to resume Thursday afternoon.
The labor negotiations, which have grown increasingly tense in recent weeks, are focused on hashing out deep divisions over healthcare benefits, worker scheduling and future staffing levels, according to sources familiar with the talks.
Officials from the UFCW and the three grocers have been meeting every day, and well into the night, for more than a week after a recent strike-authorization vote by union members that won strong support.
The labor contract that was approved in 2007 expired March 6. It has been extended day to day.
-- P.J. Huffstutter
Photo: Grocery workers protest outside the corporate headquarters of Albertsons in Fullerton in June. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times