72 hour countdown has begun
According to reports from the Los Angeles Times, on Thursday night “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 Once the contract is no longer in effect, grocery workers can strike at any time.”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 earliest a strike could happen would be 7 p.m. on Sunday.
The move does not necessarily mean that workers will automatically walk out on Sunday, they could keep working while negotiations, which have dragged on for eight months, continue. It just gives them the flexibility to strike if they so choose.
According to the LA Times article, “Greg Conger, president of UFCW Local 324 in Orange County, said union officials felt they had no choice but to take this step.
‘It’s time to bring these negotiations to an end,’ Conger said. ‘The talks have been going at a glacial pace.
‘If the employers don’t snap out of it, and give our members a proposal that we can live with, the only option we have left is a strike.’
Albertsons said in a statement Thursday evening, ‘We are disappointed that union leadership decided to take this step…. We don’t want a strike, and we hope to continue bargaining rather than continue to alarm our associates and our customers.’
Kendra Doyel, spokeswoman for Ralphs, said, ‘Even though the union leadership has canceled the contract extension, our stores are open for business. Bargaining will continue over the next three days and we remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached.’
Vons said it and the other employers ‘intend to remain focused on the negotiation process and urge the unions to do so the same.'”
For previous stories about this topic, search “Vons strike” here at www.thesheetnews.com.