PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway here said last week the time to take a stand on escalating labor costs is now. With the strike against its Southern California stores moving into its ninth week and employees in Chicago, Phoenix and Saskatchewan working without contracts, Safeway acknowledged it faces a tough year ahead, with agreements due to expire in 2004 in its eastern division in March, Seattle in May, part of Northern California in July, and the rest of Northern California, along with ...

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