SACRAMENTO — Union workers at grocery chain Raley's have ratified a new labor contract, officials said.

The new two-year contract includes wage and benefit concessions for about 7,000 workers, including employees working at Raley's stores that operate under the Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods names, officials at the West Sacramento-based grocer told the Sacramento Bee ) on Friday.

"We are very happy that it has been ratified and very pleased with the new contract as it provides us with the long-term fix we wanted and needed," the company said in a statement.

Leaders of the United Food and Commercial Workers union confirmed that its members had voted in favor of the contract, the newspaper said.

The new contract has employees temporarily giving up bonus pay for Sunday and holiday shifts, and paying more for health care. But workers were able to preserve the core of a health plan that's considered one of the most generous in the grocery business, The Bee reported.

In exchange, Raley's agreed to let the UFCW organize the grocer's 22 nonunion stores without management opposition — a concession long sought by the union.

The approval of the deal comes more than a month after workers represented by UFCW went on strike over wages and other issues. The strike was the first in the 77-year history of the chain.

The announcement of the agreement was delayed in a last minute snag when the UFCW said that Raley's had implemented some of the wage concessions without waiting for the contract to be ratified.


Information from: The Sacramento Bee,