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November 13, 2012
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Raley's grocery store strike ends after union members agree to tentative contract

LAKE TAHOE - The Raley's strike came to an end Tuesday after the grocery outlet and the two unions of the United Food and Commercial Workers in Northern and Central California came to a tentative agreement.

Leaders of UFCW 8-Golden State and UFCW Local 5 said they would submit the settlement to the unions' members for review and recommend ratification, according to a UFCW press release.

Jacques Loveall, president of UFCW 8-Golden State, and Ron Lind, president of UFCW Local 5, said in a statement that picket lines would immediately be withdrawn from all Raley's and Nob Hill stores. More than 7,000 UFCW members went on strike against the grocery chains early on Sunday, Nov. 4.

The strike settlement guarantees when workers return to their jobs there will be no reprisal for exercising their rights. They will maintain their positions, seniority and health care eligibility and all replacement workers will be immediately discharged, Loveall and Lind said in the statement.

Details of the settlement, which culminates 15 months of bargaining, have not yet been released.

Raley's has agreed to keep benefits for retirees over 65 years old, said union member Al Foxworthy.

Bundled in winter coats and heavy gloves, strikers at the Raley's near the "Y" in South Lake Tahoe cheered Tuesday morning when their union representative announced the end of the strike.

"We're ecstatic. We just couldn't be happier," Foxworthy said.

In a Tuesday statement, Mike Teel, president of Raley's of Family Fine Stores, said the new contract "provides us with the cost savings we need to fund our vision and the initiatives to make us more competitive in the 21st Century."

"It is important to remember that everyone including our employees, our customers, our company and the communities we serve have suffered in this labor dispute," Teel continued. "So, it gives me great pleasure to know that as of today our employees will be back to work serving our customers with the same attention and care as we have always served our customers at Raley's and Nob Hill."

West Sacramento-based Raley's 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.

Not all locations are a part of a union, according to previous reports, and different departments of the store are a part of varying unions.

The Incline Village store was the lone Nevada store impacted by the strike, as it's the only one that employs members of 8-Golden State. According to previous reports, 33 union employees were on strike at the 72-employee Incline Village store as of the middle of last week.

The strike was the first against Raley's in its 77-year-history.

- Bonanza Managing Editor Kevin MacMillan contributed to this report.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Nov 13, 2012 01:49PM Published Nov 13, 2012 01:48PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.