Albertsons

Ashley Gross

Some 21,000 local grocery workers have overwhelmingly approved a tentative deal with their employers.

“They tried to turn us into Walmart, and they did not succeed," said Dave Schmitz, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21.

B. Brown / Flickr

Spokesmen for both sides in contract negotiations that brought 21,000 Puget Sound-area grocery workers to the brink of a strike say a tentative agreement has been reached. That prevents a threatened walkout at four major grocery chains.

Bob B. Brown / Flickr

About 21,000 grocery workers at QFC, Fred Meyer, Safeway, and Albertsons in the Puget Sound region have given notice that they plan to go on strike in 72 hours. 

That shows the two sides failed to reach agreement on a new contract, in spite of renewed negotiations this past week. Union officials have said the companies want to restrict health insurance to employees who work 30 hours a week or more, in addition to essentially freezing wages. 

Nick Ut / Associated Press

All you have to do is turn on your TV lately to see evidence of the grocery wars. 

One recent Walmart ad states: "With Fred Meyer fuel points, you could save $1.30 at the pump. At Walmart, you could have saved a total of $17.92." 

"Wow, that's awesome!" the woman shopper in the commercial exclaims. 

Union for Local Grocery Workers in Talks

Oct 10, 2013
Erin Hennessey

Talks resumed Thursday between grocery stores and the union representing more than 20,000 of their workers at QFC, Safeway, Fred Meyer, and Albertson’s. If the talks fail, the union could go on strike. And that has grocery stores preparing to hire replacements.

A sign outside a Safeway store in lower Queen Anne advertises for temporary workers for $12 an hour. The reason: a “potential labor dispute.” Tom Geiger, a spokesman for the grocery workers, says he’s not surprised.

Bob B. Brown

With 98 percent of the votes, grocery store workers in the Puget Sound area authorized a strike on Thursday.

The union members said they're upset in part over cuts to health care in the latest offer from their employers. The workers added that a strike isn’t imminent; they hope to return to the bargaining table and reach an agreement that addresses their concerns.

Bob B. Brown

About 30,000 grocery store workers in the Puget Sound region will be voting next week on whether to authorize a strike. That’s after the bargaining team decided to recommend a strike vote, saying they made no progress in bargaining earlier this week.

Grocery store workers in the Puget Sound region are stepping up pressure on their employers as they try to reach a contract deal. They’re staging informational pickets everywhere from Bremerton to Seattle, to Lynnwood this afternoon to get their message out to customers.