Local Grocery Workers Approve Tentative Deal with Employers

Oct 31, 2013

Some 21,000 local grocery workers have overwhelmingly approved a tentative deal with their employers.

“They tried to turn us into Walmart, and they did not succeed," said Dave Schmitz, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21.

The union had reached a last-minute tentative agreement with QFC, Fred Meyer, Safeway, and Albertsons earlier this month after the workers issued a 72-hour strike notice following failed negotiations. Wages and health care had been the sticking points.

Tom Geiger, a union spokesman, said the union managed to defeat the employers’ proposals to eliminate health care for part-timers and essentially freeze wages.

"We hope we can avoid the brink in the future,” he said.

Geiger added the union negotiated a raise for the lowest-paid workers, and a moderate raise for the highest-paid workers.