business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times this morning reports that Albertsons employees in Southern California who are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) have authorized a strike against the company in the event the two sides are not able to come to agreement on a contract by April 9.

No date was set for a strike, nor were vote tallies released.

Supervalu-owned Albertsons issued a statement calling the strike vote an "irresponsible" move "to frighten our employees and alarm our customers." The statement, in part, read: "It is disturbing that the unions are considering the possibility of a strike at this stage in the negotiations, given the hardships incurred just over three years ago by our employees, our customers and our companies during the last labor dispute.”

Management – representing Albertsons, Kroger and Safeway - and labor agreed last week to a contract extension until April 9. Both sides – and customers – tell the Times that they are well aware of the strike/lockout three years ago that roiled the market and food industry there.

The UFCW said that it chose Albertsons as the target for the strike vote because of its belief that Supervalu has more debt than the other two companies and would be less able to withstand a protracted labor outage.
KC's View:
Seems to us that both sides are sort of doing what Cowboy Troy describes in his song:

I play chicken with the train…