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SoCal Grocery Workers And Their Bosses Have Reached A Deal, Likely Averting Strike

A large light-up sign displays the logo for grocery store Ralph's.
The parking lot of a Ralph's supermarket in Monterey Park on May 18, 2021.
(Frederic J. Brown
/
AFP via Getty Images)
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Grocery store workers have reached a tentative agreement with their bosses at Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions, likely averting a strike at stores across Southern California.

The agreement was negotiated by a member-led bargaining committee of seven UFCW locals. Manny Estrada, a pharmacy clerk at a Vons near San Luis Obispo, was one of them. He is optimistic that workers will like the deal they reached.

"From this point forward, you know, we're just gonna continue with hoping that everyone else is happy with what we ended the day with yesterday, and hopefully the members will be happy and we know the employers are satisfied," Estrada said. "So we're just gonna move forward."

The deal includes significant wage increases, stronger health benefits and improved store safety. Workers say the pandemic highlighted their need for these protections.

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Rachel Fournier, a cashier for a Los Angeles Ralphs store and union negotiator, said the committee could not have achieved this deal "without the support of the community and the energy and engagement of all our members."

A Ralphs official said they are pleased with the agreement terms. Union members will soon vote on the new contract.

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