Grocery Strike Averted

Monday, Oct. 21, the union struck a deal with the grocery corporations, averting a strike.

Friday, Oct. 18, the union notified Albertsons, QFC, Safeway and Fred Meyer stores in the Puget Sound that workers would strike. CEOs were preparing to change pay and health care benefits.

“The deal continues to preserve good wages, secure pensions and access to quality, affordable healthcare for our employees,” a negotiations spokesperson told the Seattle Times.

The corporations wanted to cut health care coverage for every individual working less than 30 hours per week. This would allow the companies to save money by not offering health care to many of their employees.

The grocery chains also planned to cut time-and-a-half pay on holidays, wage increases and change other parts of worker contracts. Over 20,000 workers were going to strike if the terms were not met Friday night.

The last major strike in the state was in 1989. Strikers sought raises and continued Sunday premium pay, which employers had sought to cut. The strike lasted for 81 days. Many supermarkets had to cut back on hours.