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The Sacramento Bee reports that July 17 is a key date in the next chapter of management-labor relations in California, as a contract expires between more than 15,000 workers and Sacramento-area grocery companies that include Raley's, Safeway Inc., Albertsons Inc. and Kroger Co.'s Ralphs Grocery.

The expected points of contention include, as they have elsewhere in the country, both compensation and health benefits issues, as grocers look to cut costs to be more competitive with Wal-Mart and the unions look to avoid give-backs. Union officials in Sacramento say they will not accept terms similar to those agreed to in Southern California, where a four-month strike/lockout cost Kroger, Safeway and Albertsons a combined $1.5 billion in sales.
KC's View:
You have to figure that while a lot of the union locals and chains have been coming to agreements since the Southern California conflagration, at some point the unions are going to have to try taking a hard line.

Look for some sort of stoppage in Sacramento…unless, of course, the Governator decides to step in.