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Union Questions Raley’s ‘Aggressive’ Bargaining

United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 5, a union representing 32,000 members from Crescent City to King City, is questioning what it is referring to as Raley’s increasingly aggressive approach at the bargaining table.

Negotiations between the two have been ongoing since October and have yet to be resolved. The issues at hand are affordable health care, compensation, and the availability of full-time employment.

According to the union, Raley’s recently announced to the Sacramento Bee that it had no intention of signing a contract extension with Local 5 because the union “had no interest in reaching a settlement.”

“Nothing could be further that the truth,” said Local 5 President Ron Lind, “We understand the company’s concerns about the difficult economic environment in which they operate and have proposed constructive and creative solutions that would address those concerns. Those efforts continue to be met with draconian proposals to undercut decades of progress for grocery workers while throwing thousands of them into poverty by eliminating their affordable healthcare.”

He added: “Local 5 will continue bargaining for as long as it takes to reach an agreement that protects the interests of our members. Unfortunately, the recent reckless actions of the company call into question their willingness to do the same. It’s disappointing to see that they are interested in confrontation instead of finding a middle ground.”

The union is preparing to schedule special meetings with workers from Raley’s and Nob Hill, a company subsidiary. At those meetings, members will be updated on the progress of the talks and possibly be asked to authorize a strike, Lind said.

Calls to Raley’s were not answered by presstime.

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