SoCal Grocers Said Shuttering Stores, Cutting Staff

Several Southern California grocers are planning store closings and layoffs due to the impact of today's tough economy, according to a published account.

A report in the Los Angeles Times said that Albertsons will close nine Los Angeles stores by April, Ralphs will demote 150 meat cutters and Vons has fired 97 workers already this year and plans to move others to part-time schedules.

The cost-cutting measures are meant to maintain sales as shoppers switch to discounters and club stores to save money.

Greg Conger, president of UFCW Local 324 in Buena Park, Calif., estimated that about 1,000 of the region's more than 70,000 union grocery workers have been hurt by the combination of staff, wage and hourly reductions, the Times reported.
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