The Ballard Safeway is one of the neighborhood grocery stores that could be affected by a grocery store workers strike tonight.
Grocery strike would have big effect in Ballard
Update: Agreement reached, strike averted
The grocery unions and the four major grocery chains were able to reach an agreement just a couple hours before the 7 p.m. deadline.
This means there will be no strike and that Ballardites can continue to shop at Safeway, Fred Meyer and QFC without crossing any picket lines.
Union negotiators said they unanimously recommended the new contract but that workers must still give their approval.
Here's the full message that UCFW 21 sent out:
"We are very pleased to announce that today at 5 PM the union member bargaining team from UFCW 21 & 367 and Teamsters 38 reached a tentative agreement with the national grocery chains in contract negotiations. This tentative agreement has been unanimously recommended by the union member bargaining team. Details will not to be released until after union members themselves have had the opportunity to review the tentative agreement and vote on it. The times and locations of those vote meetings will be announced in the coming days after arrangements have been made to schedule the votes."
In Ballard, the grocery store workers strike that could start if a deal isn't reached by 7 p.m. tonight would have a big impact.
The local chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union -- which represents about 21,000 workers for Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Safeway and QFC stores in King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston and Mason counties -- has called the initial contract proposal from corporations "the worst proposal they had ever seen," according to the Seattle Times.
According to the Seattle Times, the companies want to reduce holiday pay, hold wages at current rates and cut paid sick days and health-care plans. So far, negotiations have been slow moving.
Ballard is home to three of the four grocery store chains -- Safeway, Fred Meyer and QFC -- which could experience a strike.
Customers who don't wish to cross the picket line can go to Ballard Market (1400 NW 56th St) or PCC in Fremont. For a map of non-striking stores, see http://standwithourcheckers.com/uncategorized/grocery-store-alternatives/
In an online poll conducted by the Seattle Times, 83 percent of people say they wouldn't cross the picket line to buy groceries out of 2,300 respondents.
The last grocery store strike in the area took place in 1989 and lasted nearly three months.
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