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Announcement Expected Today on St. Louis Supermarket Contract

ST. LOUIS -- Employees represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 from Schnuck Markets, Shop n' Save, and Dierbergs today are expected to announce whether they'll accept a tentative contract with the chains, according to a report that aired on NewsChannel 5 KSDK-TV.

On Sept. 18, union negotiators and the supermarket chains reached a tentative four-year contract that, if approved, will mark the first time union leaders have asked members to approve a single contract covering all 10,000 grocery workers at competing chains in the St. Louis region.

An extensive story regarding the labor pact appeared in the Sunday edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in which Craig Schnuck, chairman and c.e.o. of Schnuck Markets; Bob Dierberg, chairman and c.e.o. of Dierbergs; and Marlene Gebhard, president of Shop 'n Save, granted the paper a rare joint interview.

If union members reject the contract, Local 655 officials will call for a strike vote this week. If two-thirds of the members who attend that meeting favored a strike, the union would picket at least one of the chains. The other supermarkets, however, would lock out union members and possibly hire replacement workers.

If the union does not get the necessary two-thirds vote to strike, the contract would eventually take effect.
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