Union: Arizona grocery workers ratify new contract

AP News
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Posted: Dec 10, 2009 8:19 PM

Union officials say grocery workers across Arizona have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new three-year contract with the Fry's, Safeway and Smith's supermarket chains.

The contract was worked out Nov. 12 to avert a grocery strike. It reflected compromises by the retailers and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 99, which represents workers.

Union members had until Thursday to return the ballots that were mailed out with the contract offer, which included wage increases and more funding for the workers' pension fund. The companies agreed to drop a plan to charge employees for health insurance.

UFCW Local 99 president Jim McLaughlin says more than 50 percent of those eligible voted on the contract issue, but exact numbers of the results were not immediately released.