SAFEWAY OFFERS BUYOUTS IN CALIFORNIA

PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway here said it is offering voluntary severance packages to approximately 5,800 retail clerks in the San Francisco Bay area, with similar offers scheduled later in the year to employees across the rest of Northern California.

The company said it is "still in discussions" on buyouts with Southern California clerks working at its Vons division. That contract was settled in February 2004 after a 141-day strike, "and there has been no volunt

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