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Potential strike averted as Food4less workers reach tentative labor agreement

CBS News Live
CBS News Los Angeles Live

The union that represents thousands of Food4less workers has announced a tentative labor deal with the grocery company, avoiding what a looming strike. 

Earlier in June, United Food and Commercial Workers Local union leaders held a strike authorization vote after their previous contract expired without a new agreement in place. 

Workers overwhelmingly voted to authorize the strike, which prompted officials with The Kroger Co., which owns Food4less and other popular supermarket chains, to reinitiate negotiations with union leaders of UFCW Locals 8GS, 324, 770, 1167, 1428 and 1442. 

"We are proud to announce a tentative agreement with Food 4Less/Foods Co. that we unanimously recommend to our co-workers," the union Bargaining Committee said in a statement. "We are grateful for the solidarity and strength our co-workers have shown throughout negotiations as well as the overwhelming support we have received from our customers and community members. We could not have achieved this deal without them."

Terms of the new contract have not yet been released, but union reps say that they were actively seeking higher pay and safety improvements for the more than 6,000 members they represent at 15 different Food4less locations across LA County. 

Prior to news of the tentative deal, union representatives claimed that Kroger officials were trying to strong-arm workers into accepting an offer that is less than what they provide for other grocery workers in the area.

A Kroger spokesperson said that they had previously offered more than $70 million in wage investments and improvements to both health care and retirement benefits. 

"We will continue to do everything we can to balance investments in wages and overall well-being while keeping food affordable for our customers," said a statement from The Kroger Co. at the time. 

This is a developing story. Check back for details. 

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