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Friday, February 27, 2004

Deal Reached in California Grocery Strike
Negotiators reached a deal Thursday night that could end the California supermarket strike and lockout, a bitter fight that highlighted the national debate over how much companies should pay for workers' healthcare coverage.

After 16 straight days of bargaining, the deal was struck in a conference room at a hotel in Orange County. Neither side would provide details.

People close to the talks said the supermarkets scored victories in their bid to cut labor costs and curtail spending on health benefits ? in large part through a two-tier system under which new hires would earn less per hour and receive skimpier health benefits than veterans ? but the United Food and Commercial Workers Union said the proposed contract "preserves affordable healthcare" and job security for its members.
-- LA Times