SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Union workers at Raley's supermarket chain, which operates more than 100 stores in California and Nevada, went on strike Sunday after last-ditch efforts to reach a new contract failed.
The strike, which marked the first against Raley's in its 77-year-history, came after all-day talks Saturday. A midnight deadline was extended at the request of a federal mediator, but talks broke down around 2 a.m. Sunday, said Mike Henneberry, a United Food and Commercial Workers Union spokesman.
"The company's position is fairly breathtaking. They really haven't changed much of any of their positions in the 15 months that we've been in talks," Henneberry said.
Union workers were staffing picket lines outside most of the chain's stores by 6 a.m. Sunday, he said.
Raley's spokesman John Segale said that despite the strike and the picket lines all of the company's stores were open Sunday as usual.
"It is unfortunate that after 15 months of talks and nearly 60 negotiation sessions, we were not able to agree on a new contract since it is clearly understood that we must reduce our operating costs to become more competitive against non-union retailers" Segale said.