Labor Relations
3:23 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Grocery workers voting on contract offer, approval likely

Unionized grocery store workers are voting this week on a tentative agreement with their employers at the region's four big chains.  Ratification of a new three-year contract looks likely.

About twenty five thousand grocery workers in King, Snohomish, Kitsap and North Mason counties are covered in the contract.  Most work for QFC, Fred Meyer, Albertsons and Safeway stores.

The latest offer came after three days of marathon talks the weekend before Thanksgiving and the threat of a strike at the four big chains.  94% of the union members had authorized a walk-out after seeing the previous offer, which they said would severely cut their pay and benefits.   

A tentative agreement on a new contract offer looks headed for approval.  Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union are still voting in several locations and their votes won't be tallied till this weekend. 

But 2,600 Snohomish county Teamsters have completed their vote and approved the offer with a resounding 97%.  The two UFCW locals representing the rest of the workers are also recommending approval.

Ratification would mean the conclusion of ten months of bargaining.