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Just before the holidays, NW Fred Meyer employees go on strike – but not in Idaho

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Shoppers hoping to buy gifts or groceries at Fred Meyer stores across Oregon and Washington might be met by a picket line instead. The United Food and Commercial Workers union voted to go on strike, effective this morning at 6 a.m.

But Idaho Fred Meyer stores are not impacted.

“Idaho Fred Meyer stores are not union-represented,” Miles Eshaia, communications lead for UFCW told BoiseDev.

The UFCW does represent grocery workers at Albertsons and Smith’s stores in Idaho, but there is no active labor dispute between the UFCW and those grocers.

The strike for Oregon and Washington workers will extend through very early on the morning of Christmas Eve, December 24th at 12:01 a.m.

[You Asked: Here’s what’s going up by Fred Meyer]

“We are asking that you get substantial wage increases so you can afford to live in the community that you’ve sacrificed for over the past two years,” the union wrote in a news release, written directed toward union members. “The company is currently offering long term employees a 50 cent raise for the next 2 years, and a 40 cent raise on the third year of the contract. They have not offered any raises for the vast majority of you. You deserve more.”

UFCW noted that Kroger Co., which owns Fred Meyer and QFC stores, started and later stopped offering hazard pay during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. The union says the hazard has not ended for workers.

Fred Meyer told KGW-TV in Portland that stores will stay open, despite the strike and picket lines.

“At a time when we want to invest more than ever in wage increases and affordable health care, the UFCW has chosen disruption and the unknown for our associates and their families,” Fred Meyer President Dennis Gibson told KGW. “We value our associates and thank them for what they do every day for each other and our customers. We are committed to serving our customers, and our stores are open and stocked with fresh food and household essentials.”

The UFCW voted on December 11th to authorize the strike.

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at don@boisedev.com.

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