After six months without a contract, the employees and management at three California supermarket chains reached a tentative agreement today. The agreement came just hours after a deadline set by the employees to strike if no progress had been made in contract talks. The 62,000 grocery workers have been working without a contract since March, while in discussions with negotiators for The Vons Cos. Inc.; Ralphs Grocery Co., a subsidiary of The Kroger Co.; and Albertsons, owned by Supervalu Inc.

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