Union bargaining drags on at Fred Meyer and Safeway


Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 are running out of patience with the pace of bargaining at Fred Meyer and Safeway/Albertsons, the union says in a new online ad. Negotiations on a set of new union contracts covering 18,000 workers in Oregon and Southwest Washington have been under way since June, and most of the old contracts expired Aug. 4, but the grocery employer group has yet to put forward counterproposals on some of the most important items, including wages and a union proposal for more consistent scheduling and guaranteed minimum number of hours.

That lack of urgency led the union to declare the beginning of a “phase two” of negotiations as of noon today. The union is conducting a survey and asking members to share stories about how they’re treated on the job. The survey starts with Fred Meyer employees this week, and expands to Safeway, Albertsons and others next week.

Phase Two’s arrival was announced as part of the online ad campaign. The campaign began with a softer touch, thanking customers for shopping union, and encouraging them to voice support for a worker raise.

The two sides last met for negotiations Oct. 8 and 9. They meet again Nov. 6 and 7.

— Don McIntosh


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