WORKERS PETITION TO DECERTIFY UNION

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Employees at three Adams Food Stores in Connecticut last week filed a petition with the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board here to decertify the United Food and Commercial Workers Union at the supermarkets, an NLRB official told SN. Westport, Conn.-based UFCW Local 371 members at the stores had called a strike after their contract expired last month, but few had

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Employees at three Adams Food Stores in Connecticut last week filed a petition with the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board here to decertify the United Food and Commercial Workers Union at the supermarkets, an NLRB official told SN. Westport, Conn.-based UFCW Local 371 members at the stores had called a strike after their contract expired last month, but few had joined the picket lines. There was no picketing at Adams stores last week, Joe Kelley, executive vice president for Adams, Cheshire, Conn., told SN.

ass., and UFCW Local 791, South Eaton, Mass., agreed last week to extend the contract that expired July 31 though midnight Thursday, Aug. 5, after SN went to press. According to an update posted on the local's Web site last Wednesday, "A lot of progress has been made on a number of issues but both parties remain a ways apart on some of the major issues."

Local 791, which represents nearly 6,000 workers at 39 Shaw's stores in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, last week voted to reject what Shaw's had called its "last, best and final" offer before agreeing to extend talks. Employee contributions to health care remained a major point of contention between the parties. Shaw's, a division of Albertsons, Boise, Idaho, said in a statement that its contract offer was "among the best in the New England retail industry."

In Denver, negotiations between UFCW Local 7 and the supermarket companies there began last week. Local 7, which represents about 23,000 grocery workers in Colorado, is negotiating separately with King Soopers (a division of Kroger, Cincinnati), Albertsons and Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., on a new contract to replace the current one, which expires Sept. 11.

In Seattle, a spokeswoman for the same three supermarket companies said negotiations between five UFCW locals and the employers were continuing late last week with a federal mediator, and some progress had been made on health care issues. The old contract expired in May.