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UFCW, Safeway Reach Accord in No. Calif.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Three Northern California locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union here said Thursday they have reached a tentative contract agreement with Safeway, while two of the locals were continuing to picket stores operated by Raley’s Supermarkets.

UFCW Locals 5, 8-Golden State and 648 said they plan to submit the agreement to Safeway members for ratification shortly. While terms of a tentative settlement are not ordinarily released prior to member voting, the UFCW said it was making an exception in this instance “[because] it is important to recognize that Safeway agreed to retain and fund the union’s health benefit plan — the same plan Save Mart agreed to participate in earlier this summer.”

In a joint statement, the presidents of the three locals said, “We have achieved our goals of protecting affordable health care and improving contract conditions for our members.”

Local 5 and Local 8-Golden State began striking Raley’s and its Nob Hill subsidiary at midnight on Nov. 4.

Read more: UFCW Calls for Strike at Raley's

In a press statement, John Segale, a spokesman for Raley’s, said the tentative settlement with Safeway “has no impact on our ongoing contract dispute. Early on in this process we chose to negotiate on our own with the union because of our specific situation and need to reduce our operating costs. We are committed to achieving these reductions and changes to the contract that we need to survive.”

He said all Raley’s and Nob Hill stores remain open, with about 50% of union employees crossing the picket lines. He also said the stores are “continuing to see higher customer counts.”

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