On Sunday, representatives of the UFCW met with supermarket companies for an unsuccessful attempt to end the supermarket strike and lockout in Southern and Central California. The strike has been going on since October 11 and affects about 70,000 workers. The major issues at stake are health care benefits and wages. The supermarkets want to reduce workers' coverage by placing a limit on how much they pay for their workers' medical benefits, and lower wages as a way of cutting costs.
See James F. Peltz, Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2004