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Ralphs to Close Stores if Workers Strike

Ralphs supermarket will close all its stores and reopen them on a case-by-case basis if grocery workers decide to strike.

Ralphs will close all of its stores if its employees decide to go on strike, the chain announced Friday. Additionally, Albertsons representatives said the supermarket will close up to 100 stores for part or all of the strike.

  • Previously:

Ralphs will reopen its stores on a case-by-case basis, Ralphs Vice President of Public Relations Kendra Doyel told ABC.

On Thursday, the United Food and Commercial Workers union issued a required 72-hour notice canceling its contract extension, which paves the way for a strike. The union overwhelmingly voted in August to authorize a strike.

The current dispute centers around how much the three major supermarket chains—Ralphs, Albertsons and Vons—will contribute to a health-care account. Without increased contributions, the account will go bankrupt within 16 months, according to union officials.

An agreement on wages has not been reached, either.

During the 2003-04 strike, all three chains kept their stores open, which cost them an estimated $1.5 billion.

"One of the lessons we learned during the 2003-04 labor dispute is that it doesn't make good business sense to try to operate all our stores during a strike," Albertsons, which has three locations in Redondo Beach, said in a statement.

The earlier strike also wiped out the savings of many of the grocery employees.

City News Service contributed to this report.

sharon yarber September 19, 2011 at 01:19 PM
If the workers go on strike I personally will boycott the stores if, and when, they re-open, and I will never return. There are lots of other shopping options available. The workers should think thrice about a strike, as they may learn they will have no jobs to come back to if the stores re-open, only to close again permanently once they realize they have lost so much business they cannot remain open and make a profit.

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