The Puget Sound region may see its first grocery store worker strike since 1989. Last night unions representing about 30,000 workers at QFC, Albertsons, Safeway, and Fred Meyer voted to authorize a strike.
They rejected the latest offer by Allied Employers.
Tom Geiger is with United Food Commercial Workers Local 21. He was there last night.
“There were thousands and thousands of people, standing room only in meetings across Puget Sound, from Bellevue to Bremerton, Lynnwood to Tacoma. We counted all those votes last night and this morning made the announcement. 98 percent vote to authorize a strike" says Geiger.
Geiger says the main sticking points are health care coverage, holiday pay, and living wages. He stays a strike is authorized but that doesn't mean it’s guaranteed to happen.
Scott Powers with Allied Employers is the lead negotiator on behalf of the grocery stores.
He says in a statement that it’s important to get back to the bargaining table to find a fair agreement.
He also says a strike authorization vote is not unusual.
Copyright 2013 KUOW