Large majority of So. Calif. Rite Aid employees OK strike if con - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Large majority of So. Calif. Rite Aid employees OK strike if contract talks fail

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Workers at Rite Aid stores throughout Southern California voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if no progress is made in contract talks, their union announced Tuesday.

"The members' emphatic rejection of Rite Aid's demands and their vote for strike authorization will push management toward negotiating an agreement the workers can ratify," the leaders of the seven union locals representing the workers said in a joint statement.

Rite Aid officials could not be reached for immediate comment.

The union locals represent workers at Rite Aid stores stretching from Kern County to the Mexican border. Union members voted on a strike authorization and management's most recent labor proposals between Thursday and Monday.

Union officials said Rite Aid was seeking nearly three dozen concessions from workers, including what they called an elimination of health care for workers' spouses and children, increased out-of-pocked costs for health care, elimination of sick leave pay, reduction in work hours and elimination of the 40-hour work week.

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