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Unionized employees at Albertsons, Safeway and Kroger-owned QFC and Fred Meyer have voted to approve a new three-year contract that, while it will provide raises, will require employees to pay 15 percent of their insurance premiums, plus pay $7 per individual or $18 per family per week for coverage as well as pay for deductibles.

In addition, the two sides agreed that Sunday pay would be reduced from one and a half times regular pay to one and a third. However, the union is waving as a victory the fact that there was no agreement to a tiered system that would pay new employees less than existing ones.

The agreement, which affects 11,000 grocery clerks and meat cutters in the region, took four months to achieve and required the extension of the previous contract six times before a deal was reached.
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