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Grocery firms, strikers reach tentative deal

Albertson's, Kroger-owned Ralph's, and Safeway-owned Vons have reached a tentative agreement with seven United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local unions in Southern California expected to end the 4-1/2-month grocery strike and lockoutÑthe longest supermarket strike in United States history. Details of the agreement were not announced.

The contract settlement must be ratified by UFCW members at votes scheduled for February 28Ð29. Grocery company employees will begin to return to work after the contract is ratified.

The UFCW has agreed to fully recommend ratification of the contract to its members. The companies expect that the contract will be approved by a majority of employees. Workers are represented by UFCW Local 135, Local 324, Local 770, Local 1036, Local 1167, Local 1428, and Local 1442.

The work stoppage that began Oct 11, 2003, affected approximately 60,000 employees, as well as about 10,000 employees of other supermarket companies not involved in the strike or lockouts.

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