Today was our fourth day of negotiations. We are scheduled again on April 24. Despite making it clear from day one that we hope to have constructive and respectful negotiations, the employers came in this week with proposals that would push us backwards; cutting pay, cutting premiums and cutting seniority and scheduling. Many of these same proposals caused strike votes in Colorado last month and are the cause of a current strike with 31,000 grocery store workers across New England.
In earlier sessions, we were able to set a more positive tone and the employers showed more respect, including an earlier than usual receipt of a Fred Meyer GM proposal. We hope the employers return with respectful proposals on April 24. We are not going backward here in Washington. We are going forward because we need better wages, better benefits, better scheduling, better staffing and better training.
We believe that grocery store workers are the ones who make our companies successful. In past bargains we have improved wages, secured protections for health and pension plans and made other improvements in our contracts. But we still have a long way to go to make grocery store work a job you can live with.
Cut Pay or Raise it?
We need better pay not less. That’s why we officially rejected the proposals by the employers this week that would cut pay for thousands of workers and eliminate the right we fought for in 2013 to make sure every step of the pay scale has an increase— no matter what happens with the minimum wage.
Cut Staffing Protections, or Improve them?
We need better staffing and scheduling, not deeper cuts to an already broken system. That’s why we rejected the employer proposals to either cut or eliminate premium pay in our contract (6th day, Holiday, and night premiums). And we rejected their proposal to push more work onto courtesy and helper clerks and reduce hours for higher paid staff. Instead of cutting, we want more protections for improved staffing.
Cut Scheduling Protections or Improve them?
We need better scheduling not cuts. Currently the best scheduling protections are in our meat department contracts with more PTO and daily seniority. We should have scheduling protections like this for all grocery store workers. Instead of making improvements for everyone, the employers propose to cut the meat department’s current scheduling rights.
We are fighting for better jobs for all of us.
We have already made specific proposals on:
Improved Workplace Safety
Improved Job Training and Career Advancement
“The way we push back against proposals like the ones made this week and make progress to actually improve our jobs and workplaces is through action. This week we started our breaks actions at Fred Meyer and will move on to Safeway, QFC and Albertsons in coming weeks. We’ve been having larger CAT Meetings than ever before. And we’re standing in solidarity with the 31,000 striking Stop and Shop workers in New England.” -Union Member Bargaining Team
YOUR GROCERY STORE BARGAINING TEAM:
Amy Dayley Angell, QFC #891 (Ballard), Front End Checker
Cassy Wolle, Fred Meyer - Port Orchard #655 (Grocery), CCK Checker
Scott Shiflett, QFC #838 (Inglewood), Meat Cutter
Christina Harris, Fred Meyer - Lake City #179 (Grocery), Bakery Clerk
Cliff Powers, Safeway #402 (Oak Harbor), Produce Clerk
Eleanor Knight, Albertsons #4483 (Auburn), 4th PIC
Irene Garcia, Fred Meyer - Auburn #19 (Retail), Home Clerk
Jeannette Randall, Safeway #1923 (Roxbury), Front End Checker
Jeff Smith, Fred Meyer - Snohomish #681 (Retail), Non-food receiving Clerk
J'Nee DeLancey, Town & Country #211 (Ballard), Beer/Wine Manager
Jordan Washington, QFC #803 (Meridian), Deli Clerk
Kyong Barry, Albertsons #483 (S Auburn), Front End Supervisor
Maggie Breshears, Fred Meyer - Greenwood #122 (Grocery), Personal Shopper
Maroot Nanakul, Safeway #464 (Bear Creek), Front End Checker
Michaela Strain, QFC #819 (Bothell), Meat Wrapper
Paul Ames Reinhold, Metropolitan Market #157 (Uptown), Cheese Kiosk Clerk
Richard Waits, Haggen #15 (Burlington), Deli Clerk
Robin Hillistad, QFC #858 (N Seattle), HR Specialist
Sam Dancy, QFC #825 (Westwood Village), Front End Supervisor
Sue Wilmot, Safeway #1252 (Bainbridge Island), Front End Checker
Wendy Garrett-Drake, Albertsons #469 (Mukilteo), Personnel Coordinator/Bookkeeper
Wil Peterson, Fred Meyer - Everett #95 (Grocery), CCK Checker
Todd Crosby, Organizing Director, UFCW International
Faye Guenther, Acting President, UFCW 21
Steve Chandler, Principal Officer Teamsters 38
Joe Mizrahi, Staff Director, UFCW 21
Mia Contreras, Executive Vice President, UFCW 21
Tammi Brady, Recording Secretary, Teamsters 38
Samantha Kantak, Executive Assistant, Teamsters 38
Jim McGuinness, Attorney, UFCW 21 and Teamsters 38