Rite Aid workers from throughout Southern California, including in San Luis Obispo County, voted overwhelmingly over the past few days to reject the company's proposals for concessions in their next labor contract.
The vote grants leaders of seven local unions of the United Food and Commercial Workers the authority to call a strike if the union feels one is necessary.
San Luis Obispo County has 10 Rite Aid stores.
Rite Aid is seeking 34 concessions from the workers, according to the union. Union officials said the proposals include the following:
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effective elimination of health care for workers' spouses and children
out-of-pocket costs for health care benefits of up to $10,000 a year
virtual elimination of all accumulated sick leave pay
reduction of the number of hours workers are allowed to work
elimination of the 40-hour work week and 24-hour guarantee for part-time employees
Rite Aid officials said they wouldn’t comment on specifics of the negotiations, which they’ll discuss at the bargaining table.
“Many of our associates have said that they don’t want to strike,” the store said in a statement. “We think such a vote was premature, especially since the union hasn’t even given us a counter proposal to our first proposal.”
The store said it will continue to work with UFCW leaders to reach a new agreement that's fair to all involved.