After some time of speculation and concern over whether Albertsons-owned Vons and Pavilions and Kroger-owned Ralphs would be dealing with a potentially crippling strike, the story has taken a turn of relief.
The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 135 union announced on Sunday that a “tentative agreement has been reached with both companies.” In the same online post, UFCW Local 135 disclosed that the contract ratification votes were to take place this week, September 9 and 10.
According to The Los Angeles Times, a strike would affect more than 500 stores and 47,000 workers across Southern California—a major hit for the region as Albertsons and Ralphs stores comprise nearly 40 percent of the SoCal grocery retail market.
To compromise between both parties, Ralphs spokesperson John Votava commented that the chain has offered hourly pay increases of $1.20 in total, spread over three years, though there was no word on whether this concession will change in the wake of continued negotiations. Contract discussions included a range of issues such as:
As we await the results of the vote, Deli Market News will report on key updates that could affect our industry.