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SoCal Grocery Workers Avert Strike, Ratify New Contract

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California grocery employees have voted to ratify a new contract with supermarket chains, bringing an end to months of conflict and averting a strike that could have crippled the industry and left shoppers scrambling.

United Food and Commercial Workers local spokeswoman Ellen Anreder said Saturday that after two days of voting, members agreed to the deal as their leaders had urged.

Union officials say the agreement — reached with the region’s three major grocery chains after a strike deadline had passed Monday — addresses concerns about funding for the employees’ health plan, the main sticking point during the months of negotiations.

The union did not release the vote totals.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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