By Don McIntosh
Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 are set to strike 6 a.m. Dec. 17 at Fred Meyer and QFC stores in the Portland area, Bend, and Klamath Falls—unless there’s tentative agreement on a new contract by then. The two sides were scheduled to meet through Dec. 16. Both Fred Meyer and QFC are owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger.
Local 555 has been in negotiations over a new set of contracts with Kroger since July. For previous contracts, Fred Meyer bargained together with other big grocery chain, Safeway/Albertsons, but this year the companies are bargaining separately. Members overwhelmingly authorized a strike in votes held Dec. 10 and 11.
The strike would be in protest of unfair labor practices. The union believes the company is underpaying workers and has refused to provide information requested by the union related to that.
“It’s our sincerest hope that shoppers will not cross our line,” said Local 555 spokesperson Miles Eshaia. “We have plenty of union stores in Oregon, including all Safeway and Albertsons stores. We hope after two years of serving our communities during a pandemic, customers will support us.”
The union is also asking supporters to sign a petition at ufcw555.org/supportcard.