New grocery contract passes by ‘overwhelming majority’
Grocery workers in Western Washington approve new 3-year contract.
Seattle Times business reporter
Union officials said Thursday local grocery-store workers approved a new three-year contract, ending a months-long series of negotiations that nearly led to a strike.
Officials did not release detailed results, saying only that the contract passed by an “overwhelming majority” over two days of voting earlier this week.
The contract covers thousands of grocery workers at Albertsons, Fred Meyer, QFC and Safeway stores in King, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties.
Negotiations began in March and nearly erupted in a strike last week before bargaining teams on both sides agreed to a contract deal Oct. 21.
The union chapters involved were the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) locals 21 and 367 and Teamsters 38.
In a statement, the UFCW said it beat back efforts to cut health benefits and holiday pay, freeze wages and eliminate a guarantee that entry-level workers make at least 10 cents above minimum wage. The deal also secures workers’ pensions and provides modest wage increases, including a ratification bonus, the union said.
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