The Stand

Grocery unions announce last-minute deal!

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UPDATE (Oct. 21, 2013 — 5:30 p.m.) — The following was just distributed: “We are very pleased to announce that today at 5 PM the union member bargaining team from UFCW 21 & 367 and Teamsters 38 reached a tentative agreement with the national grocery chains in contract negotiations. This tentative agreement has been unanimously recommended by the union member bargaining team. Details will not to be released until after union members themselves have had the opportunity to review the tentative agreement and vote on it. The times and locations of those vote meetings will be announced in the coming days after arrangements have been made to schedule the votes.”


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Strike webcam at Seattle’s Westlake Park.

UPDATE (Oct. 21, 2013 — 3 p.m.) — It appears a strike is imminent at all Safeway, QFC, Albertsons and Fred Meyer stores in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston and Mason counties. Barring a last-minute settlement, the strike will begin tonight at 7 p.m. with the expiration of the 72-hours’ notice the unions gave negotiators for the giant grocery chains.

The following email was just sent from UFCW 21 Community Organizer Elena Perez:

Dear community and labor partners,

We are still at the bargaining table and do not have any details to report at this time. Have no doubt; we are as curious as you are as to what is occurring there. What we do know is that the bargaining could continue right up to the deadline of 7pm tonight. The best way to get news of a strike as quickly and accurately as possible is to please stay tuned to the Stand With Our Checkers website www.standwithourcheckers.com . If you haven’t already, you can sign up for text and/or email alerts.

As soon as you hear of a chain being struck, if you are able to join a picket line at the store you have adopted (or at the store nearest you that has a picket line forming if your store of choice happens to not be targeted), that would be highly appreciated. I wish we could give you more information at this time, but we do not have any insight as to what to expect. We will be ready for anything, either staffing strike lines or hopefully celebrating the news of a tentative agreement.

Thank you again for everything you have done. The overwhelming outpouring of support has bolstered our members over this very difficult time. They certainly will not forget the kind words they have heard from each of you.


(Oct. 21, 2013 — 7 a.m.) — Thank you to all those who attended the Community Support Rally at Seattle’s Westlake Park last night. Unfortunately, there has been little progress at the bargaining table, so as of now, it appears the strike of all Puget Sound-area Safeway, QFC, Albertsons and Fred Meyer stores in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston and Mason counties. The strike will begin tonight at 7 p.m. with the expiration of the 72-hours’ notice the unions gave negotiators for the giant grocery chains. (Check back right here for any developments that could occur during the day.)

If the strike happens, make plans to visit your local grocery store workers on the picket lines.

If you are looking for new places to patronize during the strike, check out this map of alternative grocery stores. Grocery stores that are home-grown local union employers are still a great place to shop and get prescriptions in the event of a strike. Also see a map of alternative pharmacies King County.

Get the latest updates at the UFCW 21 Facebook page for 2013 grocery bargaining, or at www.StandWithOurCheckers.com.


UPDATE (Oct. 20, 2013) — Please join Puget Sound-area grocery workers and their community supporters TONIGHT (Sunday) at 7 p.m. at Seattle’s Westlake Park (4th and Pine) for a Community Support Rally. At that time there will be 24 hours to go until a strike begins at all area Safeway, QFC, Fred Meyer and Albertsons stores.

Take light rail to Westlake Station. Street parking is free on Sundays. Please bring canned goods and nonperishable food donations for Northwest Harvest.


UPDATE (Oct. 19, 2013) — The unions representing Puget Sound-area grocery workers are holding a vigil at Seattle’s Westlake Park as the clock counts down on the 72-hour notice of a strike at all area Safeway, QFC, Fred Meyer and Albertsons stores. Tonight (Saturday) at 7 p.m. and tomorrow (Sunday) at 7 p.m. there will be rallies at Westlake Park and all are invited to participate and show their support for the grocery workers. The strike will begin if an agreement is not reached by 7 p.m. on Monday.

Get the latest at the UFCW 21 Facebook page for 2013 grocery bargaining.


(Oct. 18, 2013) — Tonight at 7 p.m., the unions negotiating with Puget Sound-area grocery stores gave 72-hour notice of a strike at all area Safeway, QFC, Fred Meyer and Albertsons stores, which will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday night, Oct. 21. The unions negotiating as a team in these contract talks on behalf of more than 30,000 workers are United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 21, Teamsters Local 38, and UFCW Local 367.

13-grocery-contract-July4-picketA press conference is happening at 9 p.m. tonight (Friday, Oct. 18) at Westlake Park in Seattle, where a vigil will be held between now and when the strike is set to begin at 7 p.m. on Monday. All union members and community supporters are invited to come to Westlake Park and show their solidarity with grocery workers.

Grocery workers in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties voted by a 98% majority last month to authorize a strike, and grocery workers in Thurston and Mason counties also voted this week to authorize a strike.

The unions must give employers 72 hours’ notice before walking out. That still leaves an opening for both sides to return to the bargaining table and reach a resolution.

The unions have been negotiating for more than six months for a new contract, but the grocery stores have demanded:

– No health care coverage for everyone working less than 30 hours a week

– No time and a half on holiday and no 10¢ above minimum wage guarantee

– No wage increase and massive cuts in many parts of the contract

Stay tuned or visit www.ufcw21.org for more information on this developing story.

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