A group of 500 union
leaders from around the country has called for a national boycott of stores
owned by Safeway Inc., The Associated
Press reported today.
Officials of the
grocery company did not comment, the news service said, and further details of
the proposed action were not available.
came as four Southern California grocery companies and the United Food and Commercial Workers
prepare to resume negotiations Dec. 19 on how to end a strike by roughly 70,000
The labor dispute, which centers
on health care benefits, started Oct. 21 and covers more than 800 Southern
California stores operated by Vons, Ralph's, Pavilions and Albertsons. Those
stores make up roughly 60 percent of all groceries in the southern half of the
labor action soon spread, with grocery
workers in West Virginia, Ohio and
Kentucky going on strike soon after. While those strikes were under way,
labor disputes started to flare up in other parts of the nation. Federal
mediators were able to either end or avoid strikes in several locations, and
the action in West Virginia, Ohio and
Kentucky ended a week ago when workers and Kroger, the operator of the 44
stores targeted by that action, reached an agreement.