August 20, 2010 Volume 111 Number 16

UFCW marches for justice in The Dalles

On day 1,003 without a first contract, members of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 555 and community activists joined together Aug. 14 for a demonstration at The Dalles Fred Meyer. Non-food employees at the store voted Nov. 16, 2007, to join Local 555 — the same union that represents their colleagues in grocery, meat, and central checkout. The bargaining unit of 87 workers is still waiting for a contract.

“Fred Meyer is denying these workers the exact same benefits that all other union employees in their stores have and all other union non-food employees in the state have,” said Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Anderson. Fred Meyer, owned by grocery giant Kroger Inc., is trying to force this particular unit of non-food workers into a 401(k) pension plan and a high-deductible health insurance plan. Other unionized grocery workers have a defined benefit pension plan and pay much lower health insurance premiums.

“We’ll keep this up until Fred Meyer shows these workers some respect,” said Local 555 President Dan Clay, pictured in the photo left with Anderson (on drums) leading about 200 people through the streets of The Dalles. No talks are currently scheduled.

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