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Grocery Workers, Stores Reach Tentative Labor Agreement

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A tentative agreement between grocery store owners and workers was reached Monday, possibly averting a Southland supermarket strike, according to the employees’ union.

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The agreement with Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons will be presented to 62, 000 United Food and Commercial Workers members for ratification later this week.

Negotiations began in February for a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the workers’ previous contract, which expired in March.

Members voted last month to authorize leaders to call a strike after the two sides failed to reach agreement over payments to the union’s health care trust fund.

The tentative agreement came a day after the passage of a Sunday evening deadline that would have permitted union leaders to begin a strike at any time.

“Thanks to the unity of our members, we were successful in bargaining an agreement that grocery workers can be proud of,” the union negotiators said in a statement.

The new contract includes protections of health care and pension benefits.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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