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Save Mart Workers Vote on Strike Authorization

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Clerks at Save Mart Supermarkets, Modesto, Calif., and its Lucky Stores subsidiary are voting this week on whether to accept the company's "last, best and final" offer or to authorize a strike.

The leadership of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 5 is recommending its members reject the offer and vote to authorize a strike.

According to Ron Lind, president of the local, "Throughout this process the union has been willing to work with the company to stabilize its economic position in the market and preserve good middle-class jobs for our members. The union's proposals included short-term cost savings that would have addressed the company's market-share issues. The company refused to agree to a common-sense approach ... Consequently the union has called for a strike vote to get it to deal with these issues in a realistic manner."

A union spokesman said talks are continuing this week with Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif.; however, no negotiations are scheduled with Raley's, West Sacramento, Calif., whose contract is being extended on a day-to-day basis following a previous strike authorization vote by its employees. The union's contract with the three employers expired last October.

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