SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Raley's here said it hopes to complete negotiations with two locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union this week.
John Segale, a chain spokesman, told SN, "We've been negotiating for five months, and we want to get this over as soon as possible because we need to make cost reductions and the union is aware of that. The time has come to get this resolved so we can get back to our day-to-day business."
He said the chain's extension of its contract with UFCW Local 5 expired last Friday, "and we did not extend it because we're working toward reaching an agreement by the end of this week." If there are still issues on the table, Segale said, "we would make a 'last, best and final' offer and the union can take it back to the members and vote to approve it or to authorize a strike. But we're not at that point yet."
Raley's contract extension with UFCW Local 8-Golden State is scheduled to expire Friday, and Segale said the chain is not ready to indicate what it plans to do.
Ron Lind, president of Local 5, said in a press release, "We understand the company's concerns about the difficult economic environment in which it operates and have proposed constructive and creative solutions that would address those concerns. Those efforts have been met with draconian proposals to undercut decades of progress for grocery workers while throwing thousands of them into poverty by eliminating their affordable healthcare. Local 5 will continue bargaining for as long as it takes to reach an agreement that protects the interests of our members."
Lind said the union plans to meet with Raley's employees next week to update them on the progress of talks and possibly ask them to authorize a strike.