Grocery Workers Ratify Contract

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Members of United Food and Commercial Workers ratified a three-year contract agreement that  covers 62,000 employees of Ralphs, Vons/Pavilions and Albertsons.

    Details of the agreement reached early last week were not made public. Workers will pay about $7 per week for individual health insurance, and family insurance will require a payment of about $15 per week, according to reports.

    A tentative deal was announced at mid-day Monday. Workers ratified the contract late Saturday.

    Vote totals were not released.

    The contract covers workers from Santa Maria south to the Mexico-U.S. border.

    "We're all very grateful to our customers for their support over this eight-month process, and are very grateful that we can continue to serve them,'' United Food and Commercial Workers local spokeswoman Ellen Anreder said after the vote.

    Union officials urged their rank-and-file to ratify the contract. It addressed concerns about funding for the employees' health plan, according to union officials.

    The supermarkets said after agreeing to the deal that it would allow them to remain competitive.

    Ralphs indicated it would initially close all 250 of its stores if there had been a strike. Albertsons said it could shutter up to 100 locations and Vons said its stores would remain open.

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