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TEAMSTERS CHARGE ULTERIOR MOTIVE BEHIND LUCKY CONTRACT STALEMATE; STRIKE PREPARATIONS UNDER WAY, NO NEGOTIATIONS SCHEDULED

TEAMSTERS CHARGE ULTERIOR MOTIVE BEHIND LUCKY CONTRACT STALEMATE;
 STRIKE PREPARATIONS UNDER WAY, NO NEGOTIATIONS SCHEDULED
 SAN FRANCISCO, July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Bay Area Teamsters today charged that Lucky Stores is forcing 1,200 Northern California union members to strike so it can take advantage of recent problems suffered by Safeway Stores and become the region's most profitable grocery chain.
 Teamster leader Casey Sawyer said Lucky's refusal to budge from its most recent substandard contract offer is clear evidence that the chain has set its sights on a strike. Sawyer, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 490 in Vallejo and chair of the union's Northern California Grocery Committee, said Teamster and Lucky representatives, assisted by a federal mediator, met in San Ramon for seven hours Monday without progress.
 According to Sawyer, the grocery chain is still offering only a one- year contract that would essentially freeze the wages of the 1,200 affected Teamsters. Acceptance of the offer would also result in significant reductions in current health and welfare benefits, maternity leave provisions, pension benefits, holiday and vacation standards and shift differentials. Teamsters soundly rejected the offer by a 690-11 vote on Sunday.
 Sawyer said it is evident that Lucky is attempting to gain a competitive edge over Safeway Stores, which spent more than $120 million to open a new warehouse in Tracy. Safeway then spent $8 million for severance payments when approximately 800 workers transferred to the new facility as employees of a private contractor Safeway hired to run the warehouse.
 Also, Safeway lost millions more during a six-week Teamster boycott initiated earlier this year when the chain tried unsuccessfully to open its new Tracy warehouse with non-union help. The boycott proved to be a financial windfall for Lucky, as consumers staying away from Safeway shopped at lucky instead.
 Now, Lucky is trying to make the Teamsters fund its bid to surpass Safeway in the battle for business in Northern California, Sawyer said. Each chain currently attracts about 30 percent of the grocery consumers in the region.
 "It's obvious that Lucky is placing the costs of this effort on the backs of our members," Sawyer said. "They've structured their bid to force a strike, and we're prepared to comply." He said that no new talks are scheduled, although the Teamsters are prepared to meet with Lucky representatives at any time. The 1,200 affected workers at three Northern California Lucky distribution centers are represented by Locals 70,78 and 490 in the Bay Area and Local 150 in Sacramento.
 -0- 7/15/92
 /CONTACT: Casey Sawyer, 707-643-0387; or Chuck Mack, 415-467-7768, or 510-569-9317, both of the Northern California Teamsters/ CO: Northern California Teamsters ST: California IN: SU:


MC-DG -- SF003 -- 9432 07/15/92 10:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 15, 1992
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