ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The United Food and Commercial Workers union Local 789 here and several supermarket operators -- including Supervalu, Minneapolis, and Fleming, Dallas -- have come to a stalemate in contract negotiations covering 5,000 workers in the region.
rogress is not made within two to three weeks.
"As long as we're moving forward, I don't expect a strike vote," Pearson said. "We expect to find a settlement of some sort, but I am still making strike plans in case we don't come to an agreement. I don't want to get caught with my pants down on this one."
Pearson said the primary issue is wages and benefits. The union is seeking starting wages of $7.20 at the minimum, while the retailers are pushing for $6.30, according to Pearson.
"But there are a half a dozen issues out there that are way too important to leave on the table," Pearson added. These include what Pearson calls "breaking down the walls" of work rules to give senior-level workers more flexibility in terms of working in different departments, which would result in a more efficient workplace.