SAN FRANCISCO — Three locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union in Northern California will try to reopen bargaining with Save Mart Supermarkets following a 60% vote against a proposed new contract offer.
However, because the "no" vote was two-thirds or less, no strike will be called, a union spokesman told SN Friday. Although members of UFCW Local 8-Golden State voted in favor of the offer by a 53% margin, 65% of the members of Local 5 and more than 50% of the members of Local 648 voted against the offer, putting the combined vote to reject at 60%, he said.
Read more: Save Mart Workers Reject Contract
While acknowledging that members rejecting a contract recommended by the union leadership is unusual, the UFCW spokesman said Northern California employees at Safeway and Albertsons had rejected a new master agreement in 2001, after which the unions' executive boards opted to accept the chains' last, best and final offer on the members' behalf. This year's situation is somewhat different, he pointed out, because it involved voting by UFCW members at only one chain.
The UFCW's contract with the three employers expired last October. While the situation with Save Mart is pending, the locals are continuing to talk with Safeway, and talks with Raley's have been suspended.
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