Weekend shoppers will find lower bread prices today at some Washington area supermarkets -- but not as low as they were before the bakers' strike began six days ago.
All 121 Giant supermarkets will have family-size loaves for 43 cents each, a chain representative said yesterday. That compares to the 34-cent price that was in effect before the strike closed the Heidi Bakery, where Giant's private label bread and bakery products were prepared.
After the bakers walked off their jobs last Saturday night, Giant bread shelves were stocked with an assortment of other brands, ranging from a low of 89 cents for the Wonder Bread family-sized loaf to more than $1 for the Roman Meal or Pepperidge Farm family loaf.
The replacements, which Giant said will be in their stores today, include Mary Jane white bread in the District of Columbia and either Oven Fresh or Kern's in Maryland and Virginia.
"It's not as low-priced as normal . . . but it is a lot less than the 89-cent loaves," said Sue Portney, the Giant spokesman.
Officials at Safeway, which was hit by the same bakers' strike as Giant, still are seeking a substitute for their 34-cent private label loaf.
"We hope to have one no later than Tuesday," said Larry Johnson, a Safeway representative.
Meantime, the 130 Safeway stores will have other brands, including Wonder Bread, Sunbeam and Roman Meal. The lowest price for any of the Safeway family loaves is 87 cents.
The break strike expanded slightly yesterday when workers at the Safeway Ice Cream Plant, 4425 Addison Road, Capitol Heights, walked off their jobs in sympathy with the 450 striking bakers.
About 27 employes normally work at the ice cream plant making Safeway private-label ice cream products.
Both the ice cream workers and the bakers belong to Local 118 of the Bakery, Confectionary and Tobacco Workers International Union of America. The strike was called when the contract with Giant and Safeway expired and negotiations for a new one broke down.
Management and labor are divided on the creation of the position of baker's assistant at supermarkets, on worker pension benefits and on wages.
None of the 112 A&P supermarkets or the 53 Grand Union supermarkets here are affected by the strike. Both companies have private label bread for 43 cents for a family loaf.