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New Negotiating Meeting Set for California Grocery Workers

In a bid to avert a work stoppage at the Big Three supermarket chains in Southern California, federal mediators on Aug. 22 set an Aug. 29 meeting to begin “intensive” talks to try to resolve differences between management and the union representing 62,000 food workers, reports the North County Times.

The food workers voted overwhelmingly over the weekend to authorize their leadership to call for a strike at the chains—including The Vons Cos. Inc.; Ralphs Grocery Co., a subsidiary of The Kroger Co.; and Albertsons, owned by Supervalu Inc.

The previous three-year contract expired March 6, with both sides agreeing to an extension. To cancel the extension, union leaders must give a 72-hour notice—which hasn’t been done as of yet, Conger said.

The strike authorization vote over the weekend gives the leadership the go-ahead to do so.

Other independent grocery chains, such as Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Gonzalez Northgate, Vallarta and Jimbo’s Naturally, stand to gain if a strike occurs according to the paper.

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