Workers at 172 Stater Bros. stores across the region have voted to ratify a three-year contract with the supermarket chain, a union said Friday.

The contract between San Bernardino-based Stater Bros., Southern California’s largest regionally-based grocery chain, was announced earlier this week on a union website. It was confirmed Friday by Andrea Zinder, president of Orange County-based Local 324.

Zinder declined to discuss the terms of the contract, but when the tentative agreement was announced several weeks ago, it was disclosed that it was virtually the same deal reached by the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Albertsons, Ralphs, Vons and Pavilions chains on Sept, 8. Workers at these stores voted to accept the contract later that week.

Zinder also declined to discuss the Stater Bros. vote margin but said it was “overwhelmingly ratified.” Stater Bros. employs about 17,000 retail workers who are UFCW members.

The deal includes wage increases of between $1.55 and $1.65 an hour over the three years of the contract. It also improves employees’ health care coverage, fully funds pensions and guarantees hours for veteran workers.

The ratification means that only Gelson’s, with locations mostly in Los Angeles and Orange counties, and Super A, with eight Los Angeles County locations, are without contracts. Negotiations are ongoing with both chains.

Southern California supermarket workers in September ratified a three-year contract with the region’s bigger chains, ending a months-long, contentious negotiation with a deal described as the best the union has received in three decades.

Some 46,000 workers at Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions stores voted to accept the contract. Thousands of UFCW members at the chains authorized a strike in late June.

Source: Press-Enterprise