Strike averted as NW grocery workers agree on new contract

Northwest grocery workers have tentatively agreed on a new contract, ending a Fred Meyer boycott and potential strike at stores across the region.

According to a statement from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 555, a two-day session with the employers’ negotiating team and the Unity Bargaining Team went through the night Friday into Saturday. The two sides were joined for the first time by a federal mediator.

The two sides reached a tentative agreement at 9 a.m. Saturday. Details of the agreement are being withheld until the group’s members review and vote on whether to ratify.

“UFCW Local 555 thanks everyone for their support of our boycott campaign,” said Kelley McAllister, communications director for UFCW Local 555. “Our bargaining team is happy to report that we were successful in addressing all of our concerns. Local 555 recognizes that this would not have been possible without the support of our community.”

The agreement involves employees locally at Fred Meyer, Safeway and Albertson’s stores. Last week, the union called for a boycott of Fred Meyer stores and departments in the region due to allegations that managers at the stores had called unionized employees into their offices and berated them.

McAllister said the union was now asking for supporters to cease the boycott “and resume their normal shopping habits, including shopping at Fred Meyer.”

UFCW represents nearly 25,000 workers in Oregon and SW Washington. The group includes members who work in retail, manufacturing and health care among other industries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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