LOS ANGELES — Albertsons said late Friday it may close up to 100 stores if the United Food and Commercial Workers Union decides to strike.
"One of the lessons we learned during the 2003-2004 labor dispute is, it doesn't make good business sense to try to operate all of our stores during a strike," the company, which is owned by Supervalu, said in a statement. "At this point we believe up to 100 stores could close for some or all of the strike."
Reports said Ralphs, owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., also would close its stores in the region if the union calls a strike.
"If there is a strike, Ralphs will initially close all of our stores," Ralphs spokeswoman Kendra Doyel was quoted as saying "During a strike, it is difficult to create a good shopping experience for our customers and a good working environment for our employees."
The UFCW gave Albertsons, Ralphs and Safeway-owned Vons 72-hour notice late Thursday that it would no longer extend the contract, which expired March 6, on a day-to-day basis. It is not clear if the UFCW will call a strike sometime after the 72 hours is up Sunday night, nor has it been officially announced that a strike against one chain would result in a lockout at the other two, as has been common in previous labor disputes.