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New Seasons to be ‘unwelcomed’ in Mercer Island on Nov. 10

MERCER ISLAND, Wash. — Unionized grocery workers and community supporters of family-wage jobs with benefits are standing together on Mercer Island to send the message that out-of-state, low-road grocery chains aren’t welcome in their area.

new-seasons-unwelcome_frontPortland-based New Seasons Market, with backing from deep-pocketed private equity firm Endeavour Capital, is opening the first of several planned non-union Puget Sound stores on Mercer Island on Thursday, Nov. 10. But UFCW Local 21 members and their allies will be there that day from 9 a.m. to noon to let the public know about New Seasons’ record of safety violations and union-busting.

“In Portland, New Seasons management claims they are ‘the friendliest store in town’,” said former New Seasons worker Reyna Gillet. “But while I worked there I saw the store’s dark side, including lots of on-the-job injuries, fear, and intimidation of workers who try to speak out.”

Seattle-area grocery workers note that without a union contract the Mercer Island New Seasons employees will have to work twice as many hours to qualify for health benefits as the union workers at the QFC across the street, and those benefits will cost them three times as much.

“We want New Seasons workers to have the same rights and benefits we have,” said Mercer Island QFC worker Jason Andaya.

TAKE A STAND — All are invited to join supporters of high-road grocery jobs in front of the New Seasons Market, 2755 77th Ave SE on Mercer Island, beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10 to roll out the “unwelcome mat” for New Seasons.For more information or to RSVP, visit the Facebook event site.

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