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The Los Angeles Times reported that some 65,000 employees of Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons in Southern California were voting on a strike authorization that was expected to pass. An official announcement is expected later this morning; two thirds of participating voters have to approve the measure for it to take effect. If it does pass, it does not mean that there will be a strike, just that union leaders will have one more weapon in their arsenal during negotiations.

In late breaking news this morning, there were reports that the unionized employees had voted in favor of a strike authorization by an overwhelming margin of 95 percent.

As the Times notes, “Sunday's strike authorization vote was set by the union after the grocery chains refused to meet a Thursday deadline for a formal offer. The chains have argued that the vote was premature and should not have been held until they made a new, full offer.

The two sides reportedly are separated on numerous issues, including how to fund health care benefits.

The last contract between the two sides – reached after an extended strike/lockout three years ago – expired on March 5, but has been extended twice.
KC's View:
This is nuts. No good – for either side – will come from another strike/lockout.