After months of fruitless negotiations, union representatives for Stater Bros. entered into a tenacious working agreement with the supermarket chain.
Details of the contract were not revealed, but United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 announced the update Friday, April 1 in a post on its website.
“Your hard work and dedication to sticking together has resulted in a tentative agreement for a new contract with Stater Bros.,” the union wrote. “Now it is up to you to make the ultimate decision whether or not to accept the terms of this landmark agreement. Please await voting information and offer details.
Ralphs, who is also in active negotiations with UFCW but has not yet reached a labor agreement with its workers, released a statement late Friday.
“While some retailers may choose other options, we must do what is best for our associates and our customers,” said Robert Branton, the company’s vice president of operations. “We are counting on the UFCW to resume balanced and meaningful negotiations.
Thousands of Southern California grocers employed by Ralphs, Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons voted Saturday, March 26 to allow their union to go on strike.
A “yes” vote does not automatically mean that a strike will take place, but it does allow the UFCW to strike if no progress is made in contract negotiations.
Branton said Ralphs is looking to increase employee paychecks and continue to provide strong health benefits, while keeping groceries affordable.
Ralphs workers are demanding a $5 an hour wage increase on a three-year contract.
Ralphs’ latest proposal includes an investment of more than $141 million in new salaries over the next three years. This would include an annual increase of 60 cents from 2022 to 2024. So an auditor with five years of experience who currently earns $22.50 per hour would earn $24.30 per hour by 2024.