“This is very exciting because this contract provides us with the cost savings we need to fund our vision and the initiatives to make us more competitive in the 21st century,” said Mike Teel, president of Raley’s of Family Fine Stores.
He added, “I greatly appreciate the incredible effort put forth by our employees and company during this time as well as thank the many customers who continued to support us. As one of the last large family-owned grocery chains, it will be great to have everyone back working again.”
The agreement, which will not be made public until it is ratified by the union members, ends 15 months of negotiations between the two sides. The union will recommend ratification to its members with a vote to occur at a date to be decided in the near future. The agreement also will be shared with the union members working at Bel Air, a grocery store chain owned by Raley’s, which was not part of the strike.
This dispute marked the first strike in the history of the 77-year-old company. In recent years, there has been a huge increase of more than 240 non-union retailers either opening or expanding their stores specifically to sell groceries. This, coupled with the recession and skyrocketing healthcare costs, created a number of issues that both the store and the union had to work through, according to a news release.
“It is important to remember that everyone including our employees, our customers, our company and the communities we serve have suffered in this labor dispute,” Teel said. “So, it gives me great pleasure to know that as of today our employees will be back to work serving our customers with the same attention and care as we have always served our customers at Raley’s and Nob Hill.”