LOS ANGELES — Negotiations between the United Food and Commercial Workers Union here and the three largest supermarket chains in Southern California are scheduled to resume next Monday, Aug. 29, Greg Conger, president of UFCW Local 324, told SN.
The resumption of talks — under the ongoing auspices of a federal mediator — was announced two days after "slightly more" than 90% of union members who voted rejected the employer proposals on the table at the end of talks last Wednesday and authorized negotiators — for the second time since April — to call a strike if they deem it necessary.
No bargaining sessions are scheduled for this week, Conger said, "because all of us need to attend trust fund meetings that have been postponed for nine months. And I suppose a cooling-off period doesn't hurt either."
Conger said the UFCW is not disclosing how many of its 62,000 members actually voted over the weekend, "but it was a record number — more than half of the membership," he told SN.
He said the employers had urged union members to vote — apparently in hopes they would not authorize a strike.
"The record vote may increase our clout when talks resume," Conger said, "which makes me cautiously optimistic we can reach an agreement."
Company officials could not be reached for comment.