TACOMA — When the doors open at the new Tacoma City Grocer/IGA on Tuesday, owner Tyler Myers will be met by protesters carrying picket signs. The United Food & Commercial Workers Local 367 is alarmed over the fact that Myers is opening a non-union store in downtown Tacoma that threatens to lower the area standards, hurting union stores and their employees in surrounding neighborhoods.
Quoted on a KOMO blog in April, Tyler Myers of the Myers Group said that in 30 years none of his employees have ever asked for union representation. He must have forgotten that in 2003, as the owner of the IGA in Ocean Shores, Washington, he was involved in the longest running strike in the history of Local 367.
Workers of the Ocean Shores IGA voted to join UFCW Local 367 in the spring of 2003. But Myers walked away from negotiations with the union after several months. Nearly a year after bargaining began, the National Labor Relations Board stepped in and ordered Myers back to the table.
Then, through legal maneuvering and tactics, Myers and his attorney were able to stall bargaining so that a contract was never achieved. Myers made offers that fell so far below the area standard that employees could not accept them.
Local 367 plans to extend its Shop Union campaign to the Tacoma City Grocer/IGA to educate people in downtown Tacoma that shopping at a non-union grocery store will be bad for the community. When people shop at union stores, they are helping their neighbors who work at those stores earn good livings that will help them raise strong families and make their communities better places. Union workers set the standard for pay, benefits, and working conditions in the community for all workers. When people shop at non-union stores, they are enabling those employers to lower the standard of living for everyone.
“When you shop at non-union stores, you are helping to put your own neighbors out of work,” said Denise Jagielo, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 367.
Local 367 plans to continue its Shop Union campaign indefinitely. For more information, visit UFCW Local 367’s website.