LOS ANGELES â€” Talks between seven Southern California locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and the three major chains here "are going South," a union executive told SN Wednesday.
Talks were halted Tuesday while the federal mediator overseeing the bargaining sessions took time off for a personal emergency, but they are scheduled to resume again Thursday.
According to the union executive, "About 80% of the problem is health care. We offered what we felt was a perfect solution and the employers said 'no'.
"There are also still some language issues, and the wage offer they made was ridiculous â€” 20 cents an hour for jouneymen over the life of the contract."
Spokespeople for the employers could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
In a statement to SN, a representative for Supervalu-owned Albertsons said, "We are staying focused on reaching a fair and reasonable contract, one that works for both sides and allows us to be competitive in the marketplace."
Representatives of Kroger-owned Ralphs and Safeway-owned Vons could not be reached for comment.