At 7 a.m. Monday, the grocery workers union issued a statement calling upon its members to continue working, while negotiations with the management of Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons continued.
The statement from the United Food and Commerical Workers union said in part, "We are still at the bargaining table. Negotiations continued all night. Union negotiators are still at the table trying to negotiate a fair deal. Continue working until you hear from your union rep. We will update you as necessary."
Both sides were seeking to head off a strike by more than 50,000 members of the UFCW.
On Thursday night, unions issued a 72-hour strike notice, a legally mandated first step toward calling a walkout that would affect hundreds of markets in Los Angeles, Orange and other Southern California counties. That strike deadline passed on Sunday evening.
Union members say they have been working without a contract for the past six months, while negotiators for the UFCW and the markets have been attempting to reach an agreement on a new contract.
The sticking point continues to be health care benefits: how much grocery workers should pay for health insurance premiums provided by the supermarket chains.
In Culver City, Ralphs has two stores—. and The local is located at 5750 Mesmer Ave. and the is located at 11030 Jefferson.
Other local supermarkets are not directly involved in the labor dispute.
Late Sunday Vons Markets issued this statement:
Vons applauds Mayor [Antonio] Villaraigosa's call urging both sides to stay at the bargaining table to avoid a costly strike. We agree that health care cost sharing is important to help control rising health care costs just as the City of Los Angeles did in their last negotiations. Currently, about half of our employees make no weekly contribution toward their health benefits.
The others pay a modest $7 for individual coverage and $15 for full family coverage. The companies have proposed that all employees pay $9 for individual and $23 for family coverage—a fraction of the actual cost of the coverage and well below what most people pay for health care. Vons and the other two employers remain committed to reaching a fair and reasonable agreement.