Raley's and Union End Strike

Workers will be asked to ratify a tentative agreement between the store and their union.

After 15 months of negotiations and nine days of picketing, Raley's and its employees have reached a tentative labor contract.

The agreement ends the first strike in the 77-year history of the grocery chain and its sister Nob Hill stores.

"There is a time to fight and there is a time to unite," Jacques Loveall, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 8, said in a video posted online. "Now is the time for all of us to come together to get back to work serving the customers that supported our cause. I'd like to ask the customers to hurry back to Raley's and Nob Hill."

Employees who walked off the job took issue with a proposal from the company to eliminate healthcare benefits for retirees. No details of the agreement are being released, but Loveall said the company would "remain in and fund the union's healthcare plan–the same plan the other major food employers agreed to."

Raley's officials also expressed relief that an agreement had been reached.

"This is very exciting because this contract provides us with the cost savings we need to fund our vision and the initiatives to make us more competitive in the 21st Century," Raley's President Mike Teel said in a statement.

The two sides negotiated the deal in San Francisco. Bel Air workers were not part of the strike, but this labor contract will also include them, Raley's said.

Replacement workers brought in to keep Raley's stores operating would be immediately let go, Loveall said.

"We've proven it for decades that solidarity works," he said. "Once again we've proven it by sticking together."

Did the strike affect where you shopped? Will you return to Raley's now that the strike is over? Tell us in the comments section below.


Disclosure: Cody Kitaura is a former Bel Air employee and former member of the United Food and Commercial Workers union.


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