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Latest News - March 2012

March 24, 2012
Raley's opens worker hotline on labor talks
Source: The Sacramento Bee
By: Dale Kasler

Raley's, in an unprecedented move, has opened a hotline to answer workers' questions about the protracted Northern California labor negotiations.

The hotline opened Thursday and "we have had a number of calls," said Raley's spokesman John Segale.

He said the West Sacramento grocer isn't trying to influence the talks; the company is prohibited by federal labor law from bargaining individually with employees. But it decided to open the hotline after store managers began getting contract questions from their workers, he said.

Raley's, Save Mart and Safeway have been in negotiations with the United Food and Commercial Workers since last fall on a new contract, with few signs of progress. The talks cover 60,000 workers across Northern California. The grocers are seeking to reduce labor costs, particularly on health insurance, to compete more effectively with an onslaught of new competition.

The UFCW has signaled it's willing to make concessions but isn't yet convinced the employers are struggling.



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