KROGER STRIKE AVOIDED IN TEXAS

Union workers at Kroger Co. stores in Dallas and Houston averted a strike by ratifying a three-year agreement with the grocery chain on a new contract that had been hung up on health care benefits, according to the AP.

The contract, ratified Sunday, provides wage increases, increased vacation and affordable health care, said Chad Young, a vice president with United Food and Commercial Workers International.

Before the two sides reached a tentative agreement late last week, Kroger had taken out newspaper advertisements looking to hire new employees. On Thursday, union members had rallied at a Kroger in Houston and asked customers to boycott if there was a strike.

It will be interesting to see if grocery workers in Southern California will be as successful in hammering out an agreement with chains or if a strike is imminent.