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Union workers at Schnucks agree to new contract

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ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) _ Union workers at the St. Louis-based grocery store chain Schnuck Markets Inc. have approved a three-year contract that ends an eight-month battle over health insurance and wages.

Approval of the contract Wednesday night by members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 avoids a strike that could have begun on Halloween.

Union cashiers, baggers and other employees gave 67 percent approval to the new contract. The last contract expired in May. Union president David Cook had recommended approval of the contract.

The union represents about 4,000 employees who work at 52 Schnucks stores in the St. Louis area. Overall, the company has 99 stores in five states.