Southern California grocery workers ratify contract with Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions – San Bernardino Sun

Southern California grocery workers voted overwhelmingly late Thursday to ratify a three-year labor contract with Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions.

The employees, represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), approved a deal that was outlined in a tentative agreement reached with the supermarket chains on April 4.

The contract will go into effect immediately for more than 47,000 grocery workers in 540 Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions stores across Central and Southern California. Their previous contract expired March 6.

Thursday’s ratification follows the April 9 approval of another labor contract between grocery workers represented by six of the seven UFCW Locals and Stater Bros.

Under the new contract, employees with Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions will receive significant wage increases, store safety improvements, increased health care benefits and protected pension provisions.

The agreement was reached after months of negotiation and advocacy by tens of thousands of California’s essential grocery workers, including a marathon 30-hour bargaining session.

“This is a huge victory for workers, and demonstrates how essential we are to our communities,” Pio Figueroa, a food clerk at Ralphs in Laguna Beach, said in a statement. “We proved that anything is possible – especially when we organize and unite for better wages and workplaces.”

Christine Martinez, a pharmacy technician at a Ralphs in Placentia, is equally pleased.

“We were loud and clear that we deserved a contract that reflects our hard work, and I’m glad we stood together in this historic win,” Martinez said. “This contract will allow so many of my coworkers to save for their futures and provide for their families.”

The seven UFCW Locals released a statement regarding the contract ratification:

“After more than two years of risking their lives to serve California’s communities as essential workers, reaching a fair contract with better wage increases, health care improvements, and protected pensions for these hard-working members could not have come at a more important time,” the union said.

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