Union leader: Talks with grocers to continue

Last week’s strike authorization vote does not mean a work stoppage at Southern California grocery stores is imminent, a union leader said.

“We go back into negotiations tomorrow,” said Connie Leyva, president of Union of Food and Commercial Workers Local 1428.

Talks are expected to continue through through this week and the next two weeks, added Leyva, who said she was hopeful a strike could be averted.

UFCW Local 1428 represents grocery workers in the Pomona and Claremont areas. Union members throughout Southern California voted last Thursday to authorize a strike if negotiations with Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons fail to produce a new collective bargaining agreement.

The union is in separate negotiations with Stater Bros. Markets, which is based in San Bernardino.

The UFCW’s Southern California locals last went on strike against Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons in 2003-04. The unions and grocers experienced a prolonged negotiations process in 2007, but succeeded in avoiding a work stoppage.

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