WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Raley’s Supermarkets here said last week it plans to close two more stores in October. It also said it plans to resume negotiations with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union this Friday after a hiatus of nearly three months.
The stores scheduled to close Oct. 15 are in Woodland and Pittsburg, Calif. They will bring to six the number of stores Raley’s has shuttered this year.
A chain spokesman said the stores could have remained in operation if the union had agreed to concessions earlier in the year.
In announcing the closures of two other stores — in Elk Grove and Modesto, Calif., earlier this year, a Raley’s spokesman cited increasing competition in Northern California from non-union operators, noting that 250 such stores had opened in Raley’s markets since 2008.
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The spokesman told SN said a federal mediator would be available when talks resume this week. The mediator is William McDonough, who was participating in negotiations between the union and Raley’s when the talks broke off June 6.
McDonough flew into Northern California earlier this month to help resolve the differences between the union and Save Mart Supermarkets, Modesto, Calif., after employees at Save Mart rejected a union-recommended contract offer by a vote of 60% to 40%. Members of UFCW Local 8-Golden State supported the contract, but members of UFCW Locals 5 and 648 rejected the offer, which tipped the pooled total against acceptance.
Read more: UFCW Hopes to Meet With Save Mart
A union executive with no connection to the Northern California voting told SN it was “very unusual” for members to reject an offer recommended by union leadership.
A union spokesman said the two sides were trying to reopen negotiations.
Safeway was reportedly set to meet with the union later this week. Contracts with the three chains expired last October.
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