Raley's says it needs to cut costs in the face of a weak economy and competition from nonunionized companies that also sell groceries, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
"We are under some fierce competition and we must reduce our costs to allow us to compete in the future," Segale said.
But union officials say the chain has not agreed to a full audit of its finances, and has been bargaining in bad faith since contract negotiations began.
"They have decided what their position is and they're not going to change that," Henneberry said.
West Sacramento-based Raley's is a privately owned company that employs 13,000 people at 115 stores in California and 13 in Nevada operating under the Raley's name, as well as Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods, Food Source and Aisle 1 Fuel Stations, according to its website.
The United Food and Commercial Workers says it represents 7,400 of the chain's employees.