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Southern California Grocery Workers To Vote On Strike-Averting Deal

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Cecilia Ceja, left, and members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 770 count stickers of grocery store names for picket signs as they prepare for a possible strike in Los Angeles, Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. The union has issued a 72-hour notice to cancel their contract in response to a health-care proposal by the grocery chains. | AP

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Southern California shoppers should soon learn whether their grocery aisles will remain open as another wave of supermarket employees votes on whether to accept a deal to stave off a strike.

Members of several union locals will go to the polls Saturday, the second day of voting on the agreement their labor leaders negotiated early this week with the region’s three largest grocery chains.

Union officials have urged the rank and file to ratify the plan, which they say addresses concerns about funding for the employees’ health care plan.

Supermarket giants Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons say the agreement would allow them to remain competitive.

In 2004, a four-month strike and lockout cost the industry $2 billion and left shoppers scrambling for other options.

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