Rally arrests mark 100th day of California grocery strike

| Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The California grocery strike continues to create turmoil in the southern half of the state, with 15 people being arrested at a labor rally on the 100th day of the labor action, according to press accounts.

The rally, which drew more than 1,000 people, occurred in front of a Von’s outlet, The Associated Press reported. Those arrested had refused an order to disperse.

The strike has dragged on despite numerous attempts to end it.

The last was a round of secret negotiations between union officials and representatives of Vons, Albertsons and Ralphs that occurred earlier this month. Unlike previous gatherings, this one did not include a federal mediator. However, like others, it ended with no settlement.

The California conflict, 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 state.

Several other labor actions, some targeting the same corporations as the California strike, were either averted, or started and were settled since the California strike began.

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