Friday, November 30, 2007

UFCW NorCal Unions Continue Negotiations with Safeway; Strike Authorization Votes Begin Tomorrow

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. (Nov. 30, 2007) - Negotiations between four UFCW Union’s in Northern California and Safeway Inc. are continuing around the clock.

The current contract, which affects 25,000 UFCW members at some 300 stores, expires on Dec. 1. If a settlement is not reached by midnight tonight, members will begin voting to authorize a strike as early as Saturday in meetings through Monday evening. A strike could start any time after that.

Negotiators report some progress in the talks, but the sides are still far apart on economics.

“Both parties are bargaining in earnest and are working hard to achieve an agreement before the contract expires,” said Union Presidents Ron Lind (UFCW Local 5,, Jacques Loveall (UFCW 8-Golden State,, Mike Borstel (UFCW Local 101, and Michael Sharpe (UFCW Local 648,

Last month, the unions agreed to a new four-year contract with Save Mart (Lucky in the Bay Area), Raley's and Bel Air Markets.

That concession-free agreement included the largest across-the-board wage increase in the history of Northern California grocery industry contracts. It also improved medical benefits and reduces or eliminates medical deductibles. As before, the UFCW members will not be required to pay premiums for health care.

The four Union locals are negotiating under the banner of UFCW Solidarity, representing workers from Fresno to the Oregon border and from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe.