Protest: Fred Meyer underpays women employees

Oregon Women Labor Leaders (OWLL) teamed up with the Oregon AFL-CIO for a rally July 24 calling on management at Fred Meyer to fix the gap between women’s and men’s wages. More than three dozen members from several unions attended, including Operating Engineers Local 701’s “Rat Tracker.” The rally took place outside the Fred Meyer store on West Burnside in busy downtown Portland.

An analysis by UFCW Local 555 shows that Fred Meyer pays its female grocery employees less than men: $1.31 per hour on average. That’s because women are twice as likely to be hired into lower-paying Schedule B jobs at the grocer. Schedule A earns around 25% more per hour than Schedule B so, for the average worker, that discrepancy between pay schedules adds up to more than $200 per month.

At the rally, participants collected signatures on a petition calling on Fred Meyer to “Fix the Gap.” Oregon AFL-CIO’s Graham Trainor and Russell Sanders drove box vans around the store with the message: “Shop Somewhere Else! Fred Meyer Pays Women Less Than Men” emblazoned on the sides and back. Learn more at FixTheGapOregon.com.

The Fred Meyer store is located across the street from Providence Park, where the Portland Thorns women’s soccer team was hosting a match. Several Thorns players are part of the U.S. women’s national team, which recently filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer alleging gender discrimination and pay equity.

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