The three major employers in Southern California and members of seven locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union reached a tentative agreement Wednesday on a new contract.

Members are scheduled to vote next week on whether to accept the agreement. However, union and employer representatives declined to discuss terms of the tentative agreement.


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The contract covers more than 60,000 workers at Albertsons, Kroger-owned Ralphs and Safeway-owned Vons. It would succeed a contract that expired March 2.

According to a union spokesman, the agreement was hammered out during seven consecutive days of bargaining that began May 4 and included federal mediator Scott Beckenbaugh.

Prior to those marathon meetings, the two sides had met sporadically, “but nothing was happening,” the union spokesman said, “and we speculated that the only way to get traction from both sides was to go seven straight days.”

He said the sessions “got heated, but no more than in the past.”

Following the end of the weeklong meetings, the two sides took a few more days to iron out a few small points, with compromises on both sides, the union spokesman said.

All seven locals are scheduled to vote next Wednesday, with voting at one local carrying over until Thursday, after which results will be announced.

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