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Southern California grocery workers approve contract

LOS ANGELES — Southern California grocery store workers have approved a new employment contract with two major supermarket chains.

The Los Angeles Times reports about 47,000 employees of Ralphs, Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons stores were eligible to vote this week on the three-year contract. The United Food and Commercial Workers union says they voted “overwhelmingly” in favor of approval. Specific numbers were not provided.

The newspaper says the contract includes hourly wage increases of $1.55 to $1.65 over the next three years, depending on the position. Workers also get more money from their employers for pensions and health care.

The deal was reached last weekend.

The employees, who work at 532 stores, had authorized union leaders to call a strike if the two sides couldn’t agree on a contract.

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