UFCW21 Facebook photo
A grocery store employee strike is possible in October if a new contract isn't agreed upon with employers. The union, UFCW21, includes Safeway and QFC employees in West Seattle.

Grocery workers union,threatening strike, to meet with employers Oct. 10, 11

On Sept. 26 98 percent of unionized Puget Sound grocery workers voted to authorize a strike if a new agreement with their employers is not met. The union, including UFCW 21 and 367 chapters, represents 30,0000 workers, some of whom work at multiple Safeway and QFC locations in West Seattle.

At first it appeared a strike could happen as September turned into October, as union representatives said negotiations for a new contract to that point had fallen short. UFCW reps have said employers want to force part-time workers to get their health care through the Affordable Care Act exchange and lock wages at current rates.

In early October came an update from the union that they will bargain with employers on Oct. 10 and 11. If an agreement isn’t met, it could mean picketing employees outside local grocery stores in October.

“Our expectation is that they will come with a set of serious proposals,” the union wrote on their website.

A grocery-store spokesman told the Seattle Times the strike authorization vote made in Sept. was premature because “best and final” offers had not been put on the table yet.

The employers include QFC, Safeway, Albertson’s and Fred Meyer.

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