WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A northern California labor union says contracts talks with Raley's supermarkets have broken down and a strike has been called.
Ellen Anreder, a spokeswoman for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, said early Sunday that picket lines will begin at 6 a.m. PST.
The announcement came a few hours after both sides said the existing labor contract was being extended on an hour-by-hour basis at the request of the federal mediator.
But the union says in a statement released early Sunday that "by late on Saturday evening it had become obvious Raley's offer to extend the contract for an additional three days and return to the bargaining table" was a delaying tactic.
On Saturday the two sides held a third day of bargaining aimed at heading off the first strike in Raley's 77-year history.
The grocer has 128 stores in Northern California and Nevada.
Raley's released the following statement Sunday morning:
" Following 48 hours of negotiations, we were unable to reach an agreement with the Union so Raley's has no choice but to implement the wage package contained in the last and final offer we submitted four weeks ago. It is unfortunate that after 15 months of talks and nearly 60 negotiation sessions, we were not able to agree on a new contract since it is clearly understood that we must reduce our operating costs to become more competitive against non-union retailers."
Raley's says they expect employees who are scheduled to work Sunday to show up, but they do have plans in place to deal with any job actions to keep their stores open and operating to meet the needs of customers.
The Associated Press/ KXTV