Giant stores to close for union vote today


July 16, 1996

Shopping interruptus: From 6: 30 a.m. to 10 a.m. today, all Baltimore-area Giant supermarkets will be closed so members of Local 27 of the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union can vote on a contract extension with the Landover-based grocery chain.

The union, which represents some 6,000 Giant employees in about 45 stores, rejected the last company offer on March 21. Since then, the two sides have held talks, and the retailer has come forward with its final offer.

There are three minor changes to the offer, including stronger language for job security in the event that Giant is sold, according to Roger Olson, Giant's senior vice president for labor relations and personnel.

The long-running speculation is that London-based J. Sainsbury PLC, the No. 1 grocer in Britain and minority owner of Giant, will eventually buy a controlling stake in the American supermarket retailer.

Union members, in negotiations with management since January, will be voting on a contract extension through March 2000.

The union's current four-year contract with the 166-store chain expires Sept. 21.

Pub Date: 7/16/96

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