Bruno's employee union preps for strike

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Members of a Birmingham union for workers at Bruno's and Food World stores have started preparations to authorize a strike.

The union says they will strike if Bruno's and Food World stores are sold to a firm that won't commit to rehiring workers under a new contract.

Local 1657 members have already voted at several locations, and balloting in Alabama and Florida continues this week.

Bruno's Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection in February and its assets are scheduled to be auctioned on April 29.

The current contract between Bruno's and Local 1657 includes a no strike/no lockout clause. One could only be authorized if the bankruptcy judge grants Bruno's motion to void the existing contract, and a new owner refused to negotiate a contract with the workers.

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