Members of seven United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local unions recently voted to authorize strikes against Ralphs and Vons, two of Southern California’s largest supermarket chains, although there are no immediate plans for a walkout.
The members voted to reject contract proposals covering approximately 59,000 UFCW-represented employees at Ralphs and Vons, as well as Albertsons, where members had previously authorized a strike. UFCW members authorized union leaders to call a strike if they considered it necessary.
According to union spokesman Mike Shimpock, the vote was “well in excess of the two-thirds majority needed” under UFCW rules to authorize a strike.
Despite the vote, the seven union locals involved are not planning immediate action. Under a contract between the UFCW locals and the three grocery chains, a 72-hour notice of termination is required before a strike or lockout can begin. Shimpock said the locals had no immediate plan to deliver such a notice and were willing to return to the bargaining table.