LOS ANGELES -- Arden Group here said last week union employees at 18 Gelson's Markets were voting again on whether to ratify a new three-year agreement.
The agreement is almost identical to the contract approved earlier this month by 59,000 members of seven locals of United Food and Commercial Workers Union following a 20-week strike-lockout, except that it offers union members a ratification bonus of 60 cents an hour, rather than the 30-cent bonus paid to workers at Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons in the agreement they signed.
The agreement will cover approximately 2,000 employees of Gelson's, which is owned by Arden Group.
UFCW officials said they sweetened the offer after Gelson's employees voted two weeks ago to reject the original contract. Arden Group officials said at the time that only 36% of eligible union members participated in that vote.
Greg Conger, president of UFCW Local 324 in Buena Park, Calif., which represents employees at three of the 18 Gelson's stores, told SN the union is hoping for a larger voter turnout by holding the voting at the stores. However, while noting the earlier vote was also at the stores, he said he was not sure why only 36% of eligible union members had voted. "It's just a crapshoot," he said.