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The Los Angeles Times reports that the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) has notified Southern California’s three major supermarket chains – Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons – that it is prepared to cancel the mutually agreed upon contract extension that has kept its membership working at the three companies since a three-year deal expired on March 5.

There are 65,000 UFCW-represented employees working at the three chains, which endured a painful 141-day strike/lockout three years ago that resulted in lost sales and disintegrating goodwill between the two sides.

The talks are scheduled to resume today, but the UFCW’s Rick Icaza said that the union was prepared to give notice of cancellation of the extension this week if significant movement is not seen. "We don't want to strike," Icaza said. "But our members are willing to fight for what they are entitled to."
KC's View:
One of the problems with going on vacation for any period of time is the possibility that I might miss a big news story. And if I’d had to guess when I left town back on June 28, I would have surmised that while I was gone, the Southern California labor situation would be resolved and peace would reign.

Which shows that even at my advanced age, I’m still a little naïve.

(Unless, of course, the two sides were keeping the hostilities alive until I returned? Nah…)

Right now, I’m happy to volunteer my services – and those of my new partner, Michael Sansolo – to go to Southern California and help management and labor come to some sort of agreement that makes sense. And when that’s done, we’ll figure out whether Barry Bonds should be banned from baseball, whether Scooter Libby should be pardoned, what the national immigration policy should be, and how to deal with Islamic fundamentalists.

I mean, what the hell. I’ve been on holiday and I’m feeling frisky.