The expenditures that many traditional food retailers incur in union wages and comprehensive benefit packages make it more difficult for supermarkets to price their products competitively when rivals like Wal-Mart do not have the same obligations. That situation is slowly evolving, however. Pressure to level the playing field is coming from several areas. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has been tackling Wal-Mart's labor structure through legal and public-relations channels, ...

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