UFCW 367 congratulates Fred Meyer workers, thanks community for support
SUMNER, Wash. (April 21, 2023) — On Wednesday, workers in the General Merchandise department of the Fred Meyer in Sumner were scheduled to rally with their community supporters outside the store to demand recognition of their union with UFCW Local 367. The workers had reported their efforts to unionize had been hampered by bullying, intimidation, and captive-audience meetings by the store’s management.
But just hours before Wednesday afternoon’s rally was set to begin, Fred Meyer management confirmed with UFCW 367 that it would recognize the employees’ union after all.
The union credited the Fred Meyer employees’ perseverance, plus public pressure and support, for the victory.
“This is what organized labor and the organizing model looks like,” said UFCW Local 367 President Michael Hines. His union congratulated the Sumner Fred Meyer workers and gave “a huge thank you to the community and partners for coming together and demonstrating union strength and solidarity.”
The UFCW 367 contract that covers Fred Meyer/QFC workers in Pierce County includes “accretion language” that states that if a majority of workers in any store department sign union cards requesting to join together in a union — which the General Merchandise employees in Sumner had done — the company must recognize the union and bring that new bargaining unit into the existing contract.
But Fred Meyer had balked on recognizing the union — until it was about to face a public demonstration outside its store.
The struggle for form the union in Sumner is happening at a time that unions representing grocery store workers are decrying the proposed merger of Kroger and Albertsons. In Washington state, Kroger operates as Fred Meyer and QFC, and Albertsons also operates as Safeway.
UFCW 367 has more than 8,000 members in grocery and retail in Pierce, Mason, Thurston, Grays Harbor, Pacific and Lewis counties. It is part of UFCW International, the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.