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Save Mart Demotes Senior Clerks

MODESTO, Calif. — In the midst of drawn-out negotiations over a new union contract, Save Mart Supermarkets here demoted approximately 150 senior clerks in the Sacramento area last week, cutting their hourly pay from $21 to $16, according to published reports.

The company reportedly made similar moves earlier this year in Fresno and Merced, Calif., the reports noted. A chain spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

However, she was quoted in local news reports saying the pay cuts were prompted by staffing ratios spelled out in the company's contract with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Because of store closures "and current economic conditions," the chain had more senior clerks than it needed, she said.

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