Picket line could return if grocery store negotiations end

According to the union, they have cancelled all contract extensions with Fred Meyer stores.(Carsyn Currier/News 10)

Negotiations between the Union that represents local grocery workers at Fred Meyer, Albertsons and Safeway have had a setback.

Kelley McAllister, Communication Director for the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555 , said a strike may be looming once again.

The union said they have recently canceled all contract extensions with all Fred Meyer stores and some Albertsons and Safeway stores.

"One reason the UFCW canceled contract extensions is because Fred Meyer was practicing unfair labor practices by bringing workers into one on one meetings and threatening their jobs without a union worker present," McAllister said.

The union said Fred Meyer is currently hiring temporary workers at a $15 per hour.

"That is more than most current workers at Fred Meyer stores make that have been there for years and years," McAllister said.

According to UFCW, Fred Meyer could be using temporary workers as a possible tactic to cause existing workers not to stand up for themselves.

"So we've had reports from workers that they were intimidated, they were told they were worthless, they were told they were going to be replaced by folks off the street," McAllister said.

The company denies the allegations.

The Union and Fred Meyer have been in negotiation for 15 months now.

The next scheduled bargaining meeting is scheduled for September 26th and 27th. McAllister said a picket line could form as early as Sept 22.

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