COLTON, Calif. -- Hoping to avoid a repeat of the “economic and emotional disaster” of the 2003 strike-lockout, Stater Bros. Markets and seven locals of the United Food and Commercials Workers union reached tentative agreement on a new contract last week, nearly two months before the current deal expires, Jack Brown, chairman and chief executive officer of the retailer here, told SN last week. “There‘s a better way to negotiate than under the threat of a strike,” said Brown, whose company in ...

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