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Jesse Jackson Backs Calif. Grocery Workers

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Rev. Jesse Jackson has joined Southern California grocery workers who are fighting proposed health care hikes in a contract struggle with major supermarket chains.

KNX 1070′s Claudia Peschiutta reports.

Jackson and other activists met with local Ralphs executives Wednesday at a Los Angeles store to express their concerns. Jackson says he’ll hold another meeting with supermarket higher-ups.

Some 62,000 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union have worked without a contract since March. Union officials say negotiators at Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons stores have proposed unacceptably large increases in employee health care costs to workers.

Jackson and some workers said they want a new contract, not a walkout. A four-month strike and lockout that began in 2003 cost the store chains an estimated $2 billion.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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