NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Know where to shop for groceries in the event that UFCW members go on strike

As of this morn­ing, we are twelve hours away from a pos­si­ble strike against Fred Mey­er, Safe­way, Albert­son’s, and QFC by our broth­ers and sis­ters in the Unit­ed Food & Com­mer­cial Work­ers, Local 21. The hard­work­ing mem­bers of Local 21 are try­ing to nego­ti­ate a new con­tract with the big chains, but so far, they have been unable to reach an agree­ment. UFCW Local 21’s mem­bers have autho­rized a strike in the event an agree­ment is not reached by 7 PM tonight.

In prepa­ra­tion for the strike, the chains have begun putting out signs announc­ing that they may soon be hir­ing tem­po­rary work­ers (or scabs, in union parlance).

If there is a strike, we ask that all of our read­ers hon­or it by not shop­ping at any Fred Mey­er, Safe­way, QFC, or Albert­son’s store until the work­ers agree on a con­tract with the man­age­ment of these com­pa­nies, which are rep­re­sent­ed by Allied Employ­ers. Stand in sol­i­dar­i­ty with UFCW work­ers — don’t cross a pick­et line.

And even if there isn’t a pick­et line, don’t go into a store where work­ers have walked off the job because they were unable to obtain a fair contract.

Here are the stick­ing points in the nego­ti­a­tions, accord­ing to UFCW:

  • No health­care cov­er­age for every­one work­ing less than 30 hours a week (and that means they will cut hours so no one works more than 30 hours/week).
  • No time-and-a-half on holidays
  • No cost of liv­ing wage increase and mas­sive cuts in many parts of their contracts.

Nego­ti­a­tions have been ongo­ing for months, but have not result­ed in an agree­ment. Time is run­ning out and it looks like a walk­out could be imminent.

UFCW has post­ed a map and a list of all of the local, union­ized gro­cers in West­ern Wash­ing­ton where you can take your busi­ness dur­ing a strike. If you’re into eat­ing healthy and eat­ing organ­ic, you’ll be glad to know PCC Nat­ur­al Mar­kets is on the list of stores that are safe to patron­ize. You can also shop at Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mar­ket, Haggen, Top Food & Drug, or Uwa­ji­maya stores.

UFCW also has a list of phar­ma­cies in King Coun­ty that will be unaf­fect­ed by the strike. Hope­ful­ly they’ll update that list to make it more comprehensive.

By boy­cotting the afore­men­tioned big chains in the event of a labor dis­pute, you’re sup­port­ing their work­ers’ efforts to win a fair contract.

The Stand has more infor­ma­tion about the nego­ti­a­tions between UFCW and Allied Employ­ers (Fred Mey­er, QFC, Safe­way, and Albertson’s).

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One Comment

  1. Good. Let them strike, and replace them with nonunion work­ers! Safe­way does not want to do all the cuts that UFCW is claiming.

    Edi­tor’s note: This com­ment has been edit­ed to com­ply with NPI’s Com­ment­ing Guide­lines. The com­menter’s screen name was cho­sen by NPI. 

    # by Wobbegong :: October 21st, 2013 at 12:22 PM