** UPDATE, September 27, 2013, 5PM: The grocery workers union announced via social media that negotiators for union and grocery stores will meet for more contract talks on October 10th and 11th. The union Facebook page said, “Our expectation is that they will come with a set of serious proposals.” So for now, a strike that might have started this weekend is now on hold. **
30,000 Puget Sound grocery store union workers from Albertsons, QFC and Safeway voted September 26, 2013, to strike. The strike was authorized by 98% of union members and will begin Sunday, September 29, 2013 if a contract deal is not reached.
It is reported that union and negotiators for the big grocery store chains have been trying to reach a deal for four months.
According to Komo News, “Union members are upset the company wants to reduce holiday pay, hold wages at current rates, and force part-time workers to get health benefits through the new government health care plan.”
What does that mean for Snoqualmie Valley shoppers? From North Bend to Issaquah, it means possible closed grocery stores, limited operating hours for those remaining open and picket lines if you decide to shop at stores affected by the strike.
What local grocery stores are NOT affected by the possible grocery store union strike? Smaller, independent stores. The Snoqualmie Ridge IGA workers are not union, neither are Trader’s Joes… or Costco. All should remain open and operating with normal hours. There’s also the Farmhouse Market in Fall City and the Red Apple Market in Issaquah.
So there are grocery shopping options if you don’t like crossing picket lines – you’re just NOT going to find them in North Bend. The two grocery stores in North Bend, Safeway and QFC, will be affected by the strike if it happens.
The last time grocery store workers went on strike was 1989 and it last 81 days.