Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Union gives final approval to Save Mart contract - Sacramento Bee

Save Mart Supermarkets' labor union has given final approval to a new labor contract with the Modesto grocery chain.

Late Monday, the executive board of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 in San Jose ratified the pact, which includes wage and benefit concessions. That was the final piece of the puzzle, as the deal had already been ratified by locals in San Francisco and Roseville.

The deal covers 11,000 workers in Northern California, including greater Sacramento.

Members of Local 5 actually voted by a 52-48 margin last week to reject the contract, which has been nearly a year in the making. But the margin was well short of the two-thirds super-majority needed to authorize a strike. The executive board concluded that a strike would have been suicidal and invoked union rules to ratify the contract on its own. It had pledged to do so last week if union members didn't OK the contract.

The other two unionized grocers in the region, Safeway Inc. and Raley's, are still trying to secure concessions from the UFCW.

All three companies have been pushing for concessions in order to compete more effectively against nonunion grocers like Wal-Mart.

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Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066.

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