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The Los Angeles Times reports this morning that the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) has expressed a preference for negotiating with one supermarket executive in the Southern California grocery strike - Kroger CEO David Dillon.

In addition to the fact that Kroger owns the most stores affected by the strike (300 Ralphs units), the LAT writes, "Unlike the CEOs of Safeway and Albertsons, Dillon has spent his whole career in the grocery business. Approachable and low-key, Dillon also stands in contrast to Safeway Chief Executive Steven Burd, whom the union sees taking the harshest stance in demanding concessions from the union on wages and benefits. In fact, Dillon steers a company that, until now, had enjoyed perhaps the best relations with the UFCW."

However, the paper notes, it is extremely unlikely that any one-on-one between the UFCW and Dillon will take place, and there is no evidence to date that Dillon feels any more kindly toward the union that Safeway's Burd or Albertsons CEO Larry Johnston. And in an interview with the LAT, Dillon said he could not solve the issues unilaterally.

The Southern California grocery strike began back in October and is affecting some 70,000 employees at the three major chains. Talks have been infrequent and fractious. There has been no indication that labor and management are making any progress or even talking.
KC's View:
Too bad. Because to solve this problem, someone has to step up to the plate with an innovative, break-the-logjam solution.