Union grocery employees mull agreement soon

November 26, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 7 p.m. Nov. 26, 2010

Union grocery store employees plan to vote next week on a tentative agreement reached after lengthy bargaining between the union and management.

The union, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, represents workers about 25,000 workers at Albertsons, Fred Meyer, QFC and Safeway across the region. The decision also affects grocery and meat workers in Mason County and meat workers in Pierce and Thurston counties.

Fred Meyer, QFC and Safeway operate stores in Issaquah.

Details of the agreement should be released after union members vote on the tentative agreement Wednesday through Friday.

Union workers at major grocery chains in Issaquah and the Puget Sound region voted Nov. 8 to authorize a strike, but no walkout occurred during the Thanksgiving shopping rush.

The union and Allied Employers, the labor relations firm representing the grocery chains, reached a stalemate in October after months of negotiations about pay, health benefits and pensions.

Since workers’ contracts expired months ago, grocery employees have remained on the job under one-month contract extensions.

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