Nov 8, 2010

Seattle Grocery Workers Stand Strong Against Proposed Cuts, Take Strike Authorization Vote Ahead of Busy Holiday Season

UFCW Local 21 members have been standing strong and united for over 9 months of bargaining with Seattle grocery stores. Now, with the companies still insisting on cuts to pay, benefits, and pensions, workers have been forced to take a strike authorization vote in anticipation of a possible strike this holiday season.


Negotiations with Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, and QFC have stalled, and as Local 21 members point out, the employer proposals are simply unfair to workers.

"We have to raise our children, and I've been working there for five years," said Angela Kenyon, who works at a Safeway in Burien. "And what they're having to offer, even for the new employees... it's just unfair."

Hear more from Seattle grocery workers and Local 21 members here.

One thing to note: UFCW Local 21 Communications Director Tom Geiger makes an important observation when he explains that "the employers themselves have said their last, best, and final offer is not yet proposed." So the question is: why not? "After nine months you should be able to get pretty much anything done," he says. We couldn't agree more!

Votes will be taking place through Wednesday. Seattle grocery workers can get more information and RSVP here or by calling 1-800-732-1188, ext. 6161.

6 comments:

jbaillocal99 said...

Christmas is the best time to strike!!! This is your chance to hit the companies where they wanna hit you ... in the pocket book . stand strong they would be crazy not to negotiate. the public will destroy them for doing this during the holiday season. In arizona we do this during every contract negotiation but we havent been lucky enough to be in the situation local 21 is in where they really have been delt a good hand as far as timing. Stand up , Stay strong , dont settle take what is yours . People always say the same cliche ... "i cant afford a strike" but who can . and trust me people would be saying the same thing if it was the middle of july. ... My only advice to those who dont wanna strike is keep your mouth shut .. you dont need to tell management that you dont wanna strike. Management reports on where they think their store stands . let them think your are all going on strike . Management is gonna try to get you to wanna stay , dont be a dumbass, you gotta understand you are negotiating with your actions. Stand together they wanna see if you will back down !!!!
LOCAL 99 arizona is with you !!!

jbaillocal99 said...

Christmas is the best time to strike!!! This is your chance to hit the companies where they wanna hit you ... in the pocket book . stand strong they would be crazy not to negotiate. the public will destroy them for doing this during the holiday season. In arizona we do this during every contract negotiation but we havent been lucky enough to be in the situation local 21 is in where they really have been delt a good hand as far as timing. Stand up , Stay strong , dont settle take what is yours . People always say the same cliche ... "i cant afford a strike" but who can . and trust me people would be saying the same thing if it was the middle of july. ... My only advice to those who dont wanna strike is keep your mouth shut .. you dont need to tell management that you dont wanna strike. Management reports on where they think their store stands . let them think your are all going on strike . Management is gonna try to get you to wanna stay , dont be a dumbass, you gotta understand you are negotiating with your actions. Stand together they wanna see if you will back down !!!!
LOCAL 99 arizona is with you !!!

retiredUFCW said...

I have reviewed the proposals and Seattle Grocery employees would be crazy to strike over these proposals...these are the same proposals that other locals have already accepted...reductions for new hires only....there are non-union grocery stores popping up everywhere and Seattle union has failed to organize...what do they expect?

Adam said...

Retired or not, it makes me sad to hear someone who shared our struggle use the kind of words that defeat us. These brothers and sisters need our solidarity, now more than ever. The choice of what is acceptable is up to them, not anyone else. Simply because others have taken concessions does not mean that we all must do the same. Quite frankly, if we take that stance then everything the labor movement stands for is already dead. We must be thinking of new and more effective strategies to weather this difficult economic climate together. Telling our brothers to acquiesce is tantamount to undermining the whole struggle of organized labor. Shame on you Retired.

Local 21 keep fighting the good fight, and stand strong. Your brothers and sisters from 1189 will keep you in their prayers.

Solidarity forever.

United we win. Divided we fail.

Ciops said...

What pathetic comments, seriously, hit them where they want to hit you in the pocket book. No company wants people to go without; a happy employee is a more productive employee. The public will destroy them, wow, from what I hear the public thinks that Unions in a retail environment is counter productive to business. The Union is a business, and is taking your money (dues) to provide you with the same protection that is in the Fair Labor Act. Many times I have seen non-union employees paying less for benefits (after you factor in dues). You do this in every contract negotiation, and you call that fair practices? Sounds more like trouble making and being counterproductive to a good working relationship. I wonder how that would go with a personal relationship if every time you’re asked to do something around the house you strike and sit on the couch. And; before you go off about them being two different things, if a practice is right; than you can apply the theory of that practice to all aspects of life. Telling people to keep their mouth shut, wow so let me get this right, you want your fellow union members opinion, but only when it fits with yours. Can you say Fascism? How do you know what “management” does, if you were in management you would not be in the union. Enough with the scare tactics, I thought people in the Union would at least be better prepared for a debate than old fashioned fear mongering.

Daniel said...

Stay strong - there is a lot of community support for this strike. Everyone seems to know someone working for the stores who is barely making ends meet due to the low pay and erratic hours. The pastor at my church (Trinity United Methodist) wrote a great article about it in this week's Real Change newspaper.