Some 4,000 Pierce County members of Local 367 of the United Food and Commercial Workers will meet Wednesday to cast ballots in a strike authorization vote against QFC, Fred Meyer, Safeway and Albertsons.
The members will meet in either of three sessions – at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. – at the Landmark Convention Center in Tacoma’s Stadium District.
The vote is part of an effort by the union to secure strike authorization from 30,000 grocery workers throughout Western Washington. Other meetings are also being held this week in King and Snohomish counties, according to Local 367 Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Comeau.
“I think our members are resolute,” he said earlier this week. “They know that sometimes they have to take stands.”
Comeau said the four major issues at stake are health care benefits, pay for holiday work, paid sick leave and basic salaries.
He said union leadership has not yet chosen a target for a potential strike, nor has any final deadline been set. Negotiators for the union and the grocery owners are not currently bargaining.
“What we’re trying to get our members and the community to know is that we’re serious,” Comeau said. “We’re focusing on educating our members and the public.”
Pierce County members of the union last held a contract vote in 2004, Comeau said, and last conducted a strike in 1989.
Representatives from the companies in the dispute were not immediately available for comment.