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The Chicago Sun Times reports this morning that unionized employees at Safeway-owned Dominick’s have approved new three-year contracts “that include a two-tier health care benefit program that for the first time requires workers to contribute to their health care premiums, a wage increase of nearly 6 percent over the life of the three-year contracts, and an early retirement offer.”

The report in the Sun Times says that the “deal would raise the most senior employees' pay by 95 cents an hour to $16.90 from $15.95 an hour by the last year of the contract,” and will give workers bonuses depending on seniority. “The agreements require part-time workers to contribute $5 a month to their health insurance premiums and full-time employees to contribute $10 a month. They also include a buy-option for senior employees with a $30,000 pay-out.”

Safeway has pledged to begin aggressively remodeling stores once ratification of the new contracts took place.
KC's View:
Safeway has to do something to reverse a long history of declines in the Chicago market. The question is whether it will be too little too late.

Time’s a’wastin…