The United Food and Commercial Workers has given notice to end their contract extension with Southern California grocery stores, a required step before a strike. The previous contract expired in March and has been extended since then. The UFCW said that they felt this was a necessary step to push the companies to give a more realistic offer. The union represents about 62,000 workers, around 54,000 of whom might go on strike. The companies say that they are offering a good deal, and that they will remain open, even in the event of a strike. Both sides say that the sticking point in negotiations has been health care costs.
See P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times, September 15, 2011