No strike this week by supermarket workers

Now that union members have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, if necessary, a federal mediator is bringing both sides back to the bargaining table next Monday. The three big chains - Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons - have been negotiating with the United Food and Commercial Workers on a new contract since March, with little sign of a breakthrough (health care coverage is a key sticking point). From the Union-Tribune:

"We are pleased to get back to the bargaining table," said [Mickey Kasparian, president of the Local 135 in San Diego and Imperial counties]. "Certainly, we will move forward to get a deal. But make no mistake about it: We will not have any more delay tactics by management. If we don't get a deal done in an expedited amount of time, there will be a labor dispute."

Given the struggling economy and an increasing number of shopping alternatives, a work stoppage seems like an economic non-starter. That may explain why union officials have held off for so many months.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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