A labor dispute between workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and Southern California supermarket chains that began in early October shows no sign of reaching a compromise. The grocery store clerks on the picket lines claim that giving into management?s demands will turn them into low-wage workers and make them part of the working poor. Supermarket managers claim that cutting costs is the only way to compete with rivals like Wal-Mart. The concessions that management are seeking include a two-year freeze on raises for current workers, a requirement that workers pay $780 in annual premiums for health coverage, and a cap on annual employer health contributions.
See Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times, November 9, 2003