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SoCal Connected

Grocery Workers Strike!

UPDATE: Negotiations between major supermarkets and the grocery workers' unions have been on-going for eight months now. Once again, a strike may be imminent. - Originally published 6/14/11

The grocery workers' unions are poised to strike, threatening to cause a bottleneck at the checkout stand and maybe deplete your pantry — if you're one of those unwilling to cross the picket line. Late last week negotiators from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union reached a tentative agreement with major grocery store chains Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons on the pension portion of workers' contracts. But a dispute over health care contributions remains, and just today UFCW members marched up Hillhurst Avenue in protest.

Stop. Rewind. It's October 16, 2003. Members of both the UFCW and the Transport Workers Union have gone on strike, and with the same point of contention at issue today - health care. That strike cost the major grocery chains an estimated $2 billion, according to ABC7 News. Correspondent Toni Guinyard covered the local shutdown and its impact on the region then for Life & Times. Here is her report, and perhaps a glimpse of what's to come, as we turn back the news.

This is the first in an on-going series bringing you past reports on the issues of today. By drawing on KCET's extensive archive of Southern California news, culture and public affairs, we'll seek to inform current events by providing a little historical perspective, and maybe answer the question: Is there anything new under the SoCal sun?

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