Workers at Ralphs and Pavilions grocery stores could go on strike as soon as Sunday night. The workers are members of the grocery union United Food and Commercial Workers, which issued a mandatory three-day notice Thursday night to the supermarket chains Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons that it would cancel a contract extension with the chains, paving the way for a possible strike. As of 5 p.m. Sunday evening, Ralphs employees said they were still waiting to hear from union officials about whether they would close the store and go on strike. Disagreements over health care benefits have held up labor negotiations between the two sides, which have been ongoing for eight months, according to the Associated Press.
Thursday’s announcement does not necessarily mean there will be a strike, but it removes any legal barriers preventing workers from striking, according to the AP. The grocery union last underwent a strike in 2003. That strike lasted 141 days, and cost the chains an estimated $2 billion, according to reports. With the recent closing of HOWS supermarket, PC Greens is the only non-union grocery store in Malibu.