US grocers Albertsons, Kroger and Safeway have announced that they have reached a tentative contract agreement with eight local units of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) in the San Francisco Bay area.

The UFCW is to present the agreement to its members for ratification and has indicated it will recommend ratification, Safeway said. Details of the settlement have not been made public.

The tentative agreement, which was reached on 23 January, affects approximately 19,000 Safeway employees working at 182 stores, 8,000 workers at 116 Albertsons stores, and 1,100 Kroger employees in Northern California.

The grocers were anxious to reach an agreement with the unions, thereby avoiding potentially damaging strikes and lockouts.