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News / Business / Clark County Business

Grocery workers union calls for Fred Meyer boycott

By Jack Heffernan, Columbian county government and small cities reporter
Published: September 22, 2019, 1:48pm

A union representing thousands of grocery workers has called for a boycott of Fred Meyer stores in Southwest Washington and Oregon.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 called for the boycott Sunday in a news release. The announcement comes after 15 months of labor negotiations.

Negotiations have centered on wages and pay inequities, according to the union. The boycott marks the first economic action the union has taken as talks become increasingly tense.

Fred Meyer employs roughly 18,000 people at more than 50 stores in the region, including seven in Clark County.

“If Fred Meyer won’t listen to workers’ voices, perhaps they will listen to the sound of departments devoid of shoppers,” said Jeff Anderson, the union’s secretary and treasurer.

Earlier this month, the union filed unfair labor practice complaints with the National Labor Relations Board against the grocery chain. The complaints claim that supervisors held one-on-one meetings with employees without proper representation, posted job openings for temporary workers as an intimidation tactic and attempted to convince members to leave the union.

Fred Meyer spokesman Jeffery Temple previously told The Daily News that many of the claims are “untrue and misleading.”

The union also canceled all contracts with Kroger, Fred Meyer’s parent company, earlier this month. The cancellation took effect Sunday.

Another round of bargaining is scheduled for Thursday and Friday. An update from the union is expected Saturday, according to the news release.

Columbian county government and small cities reporter