Negotiations to resume Sunday over Puget Sound-area grocery worker contracts

Tacoma News TribuneOctober 19, 2013 

Picket signs await use if negotiators make no progress Thursday in last push to reach a new agreement between union workers and four Puget Sound grocery chains.

UFCW LOCAL 21

UPDATE, 9:05 p.m.: Geiger emailed to say talks had ended Saturday night and would resume Sunday morning. Employer representative Scott Powers confirmed that via email. Geiger said there had been "some slight movement" but that a lot of strike issues remain.

ORIGINAL STORY: Representatives from unions representing 21,000 grocery workers across Western Washington said negotiations with grocery store owners continued Saturday.

"Negotiations that continued last night and started up again this morning are still underway," read a news release a few minutes ago from Tom Geiger, spokesman for the grocery workers. "It is our desire to reach a fair settlement agreement before Monday at 7 p.m. Unless an agreement is reached by Monday night at 7 p.m a strike will begin."

The workers issued the 72-hour strike notice last night after weeks of contract negotiations.

If the strike proceeds, workers for Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Safeway and QFC stores in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties would take part.

Geiger announced a food drive to support striking workers on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Westlake Park in Seattle. That's the location of the strike countdown clock that began last night.

Negotiation issues include "cuts to pay & benefits, no paid sick days outside Seattle, taking away the dime above minimum wage guarantee for new hires, (and) threats to the health care plan" among others, Geiger's statement said.

This story will be updated as news develops.

 

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