PLEASANTON, Calif.. -- The 18-week-old strike against Safeway in Southern California cost the chain $103 million during its first 84 days, or 35% of the company's total loss, Steve Burd, chairman, president and chief executive officer, told financial analysts last week -- an expense he said he believes is in the best interests of shareholders and employees in the long run. "I'm absolutely comfortable this is the right thing to do for the business and the best way to protect existing ...

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