Two major Southern California supermarket operators have reached a tentative deal on a new labor contract that could avert a strike, The LA Times reports.
Albertsons, which owns Vons and Pavilions, and the Ralphs division of Kroger Co. said they reached the agreement early Sunday with the seven locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers union that represent the workers.
The deal relates to more than 500 grocery stores by the chains’ 47,000 workers.
“We reached a tentative agreement with the unions early yesterday morning,” Albertsons said in a statement Monday.
The union confirmed the proposed deal and said its members would start voting Monday whether to ratify the agreement, with the results expected to be announced Thursday. Union leadership is recommending ratification.
The employees, who work at 532 stores stretching from Central California to the Mexican border, already had authorized union leaders to call a strike if a new contract couldn’t be reached.
Ralphs, meanwhile, confirmed last week that it had already started recruiting replacement workers in preparation for a possible work stoppage.
“We are proud to announce that a tentative agreement has been reached with both companies,” said a statement posted Sunday morning by UFCW Local 135, which covers San Diego County.