After a year of challenges finding your favorite items on the grocery store shelf, there’s a new problem looming for shoppers at Fred Meyer: A union worker strike.
KOIN-TV in Portland reports Teamster Local 117 warehouse workers voted unanimously to strike. The current contract expires on Sunday, and a ripple effect could start to be felt at stores across the region as soon as Monday, according to KOIN.
If the workers go on strike, 500 workers could walk out – impacting store locations in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho. The vote to strike passed 335-0, according to the Associated Press.
Fred Meyer is a unit of Cincinnati, OH-based Kroger Co. The company provided a statement to KOIN:
“Our company will continue to pursue a fair and balanced contract that honors associates and keeps the company competitive,” the spokesperson said. “Note that a strike authorization vote does not mean that there will be a strike. We do not anticipate any disruption in service and it is business as usual in our stores.”
The same union recently reached an agreement with Safeway, a unit of Boise-based Albertsons Companies.
“With Safeway, you’ve got an employer that praises their workers as essential, then treats them that way by putting forth an excellent contract proposal that members can ratify,” Teamster Local 174 spokesperson John Scearcy said. “Fred Meyer, on the other hand, has been slow to respond to our economic proposals, ignored our safety concerns, and dragged out negotiations beyond the expiration of our contract.”
Fred Meyer operates seven hypermarket-format stores in the Treasure Valley, which feature both grocery and a variety of department store-type offerings.