BUENA PARK, Calif. — Albertsons here said Thursday any talk of a strike by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union in Southern California is premature and unnecessary.
In a press statement, the chain said, "We believe progress is being made [in ongoing negotiations], and that is evident from the tentative agreements we already have on a number of issues. That's a good sign, and we think everyone's interests are best served by staying at the negotiating table and focusing on achieving a fair and reasonable contract."
According to a Vons spokesman, "The only place we are going to reach an agreement on a new contract is at the bargaining table, not in the media and certainly not with the unions holding strike authorization meetings. We think a strike authorization vote is simply an unnecessary distraction and a waste of valuable time, especially at this stage of our negotiations. Until this week, we had been making slow, but steady progress toward our goal of negotiating a new contract we can all live with.
"We do have negotiation dates scheduled for April 26, 27 and 28, and we still have every reason to believe we can reach an agreement if both sides get back to the bargaining table and commit to doing the hard work that will be necessary to get the job done.” Ralphs executives did not respond to requests for comment.