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Sept. 23, 2021

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Fred Meyer warehouse workers vote to authorize strike; work stoppage could begin Monday

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OLYMPIA — Fred Meyer warehouse workers, represented by Teamsters Local 117, voted 335-0 to authorize a strike on Saturday that could take effect at stores across the Northwest as early as Monday, the union announced.

Contract negotiations between Teamsters Local 117 and Fred Meyer have been underway with little progress, according to a news release from the union.

The contract between the union and the company is set to expire on Sunday, July 18. A work stoppage could be called by the union as early as 12:01 a.m. Monday morning.

Teamsters Local 117 represents roughly 500 warehouse workers with Fred Meyer, servicing 180 stores in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho, The News Tribune reported.

The approval to authorize a strike at Fred Meyer comes a day after the union reached a tentative agreement with Safeway over a 3-year contract, according to the release.

Warehouse workers at Safeway, who also are represented by Teamsters 117, will vote on the proposal on Sunday. Safeway employs about 470 warehouse workers at 202 stores in Washington and Alaska, The News Tribune reported.

“We are happy to see that Safeway put forth a fair contract offer that our members will be voting on,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117, in a statement.

Teamsters met with Fred Meyer throughout the pandemic to demand they take more aggressive steps to address COVID outbreaks, but the company was slow to respond, according to the union.

According to the union, Fred Meyer rejected a proposal outright that would have given workers the ability to refuse to complete a task if they reasonably believed it would put themselves or the public in danger.

Fred Meyer, in a recent statement to The News Tribune, said: “The companies’ goal is a fair and balanced contract that honors associates and keeps the company competitive. We don’t currently anticipate any disruption in service to our stores.”

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