Raley's takes tough negotiating line with union
Dale Kasler, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mar. 27, 2012
Raley's is ramping up the pressure on its workers to swallow contract savings, taking steps that could provoke the first strike in the supermarket chain's 77-year history.
Fed up with months of fruitless labor negotiations, Raley's refused late Friday to extend the contract with a Bay Area unit of the United Food and Commercial Workers.
The move doesn't necessarily translate into a strike. Workers will continue to be paid under the terms of the old contract, a situation that could continue indefinitely.
In fact, negotiations will be held almost every day this week, and Raley's expressed optimism Monday that labor peace is possible.
"I believe we can reach an agreement by the end of this week," said Chief Executive Michael Teel in a memo to employees.
But Teel said "we are entering the most critical week for negotiations to date." His decision not to extend the contract with San Jose's UFCW Local 5 contract has escalated the tension between the West Sacramento grocer and its workers.
Local 5 remains ...