Southern California Rite Aid Employees Vote on Strike Authorization

Published On : 7/30/2012 11:42 AM
From : KVCR
Categories : Local

Thousands of Southern California union employees of the Rite Aid drug store chain are awaiting the results of a strike authorization vote.

The contract for 6000 Southern California Rite Aid workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers’ union expired July 15th. The Press Enterprise reports that in the Inland Empire, there are more than a thousand Rite Aid employees at 70 stores across our region.

Negotiations have been deadlocked over Rite Aid’s proposal to increase out-of-pocket costs that employees pay for their families’ health coverage, and to drop health care benefits for current and future retirees.

The Pennsylvania-based pharmacy chain reported losses of 28-million dollars last quarter, and has seen earnings drop every quarter for the past year. Rite-Aid’s UFCW employees began voting on Thursday whether to authorize their leaders to call a strike if negotiations remain stalled. The voting is scheduled to end today [Monday] and the result of the vote will be announced tomorrow [Tuesday].

A union vote in favor of authorization does not necessarily mean workers will strike, but it does give their leaders the option of threatening a strike during negotiations. Another round of contract talks between Rite Aid management and the union is scheduled for next month.

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