Grocery workers take to freeway overpasses to spread message

Reaching commuters Wednesday afternoon, evening

  • Wednesday, September 18, 2019 2:03pm
  • Business
Grocery workers picket a Bellevue QFC on July 31. FILE PHOTO

Grocery workers picket a Bellevue QFC on July 31. FILE PHOTO

Grocery store workers will go to freeway overpasses Wednesday afternoon in the central Puget Sound area and evening to spread their message to commuters about trying to get a new contract with higher wages.

Nearly 30,000 grocery store workers across Puget Sound have been in contract negotiations since March, according to a UFCW 21 press release. The workers employed by QFC, Fred Meyer, Safeway and Albertsons, are represented by UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) and Teamsters unions.

“Even though some progress has been made, there are still major challenges with wages and benefits including retirement plan funding,” according to the release. “In order to reach out directly to the public, we will be taking our message to the overpasses across Puget Sound that ‘One Good Job Should Be Enough.’”

Workers will take to the overpasses from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Locations:

• Bellevue – NE 4th St & I-405 overpass and NE 8th St & I-405 overpass

On north side of overpass facing south bound traffic

Banner 1 on NE 8th St and Banner 2 on NE 4th St

• Gig Harbor – Olympic Dr NW & SR 16

On east side of overpass facing west bound traffic

• Everett – 112th St SE and I-5 Overpass

On south side of overpass facing north bound traffic

• Seattle – NE 45th St & I-5 overpass and NE 50th St & I-5

On south side of over pass facing north bound traffic

Banner 1 on NE 45th St and Banner 2 on NE 50th St

• Seattle – Yesler Way & I-5 overpass

On north side of overpass facing south bound traffic

• Tacoma – 56th St & I-5

On north side of overpass facing south bound traffic

Here’s the statement issued by the union:

“The super majority of grocery store workers in our region are unionized workers and as such have the right to regularly (typically every 3 years) sit down with their employers to negotiate the terms of their employment including wages, benefits and working conditions including staffing, schedules and safety. Despite some success in reaching some agreement, the wealthy CEOs of these large national chains who make well over 300 times the average grocery store worker, are still proposing only a fraction of the wages needed for workers to have a decent quality of life.

Since early June workers have taken action in front of hundreds of stores across the region raising these concerns. In order to reach a larger audience, the workers are taking a message to the afternoon commute. We are doing the overpasses as a way to get out our message. We have been hard at work for nearly 6 months to resolve our contracts short of a dispute. We hope the employer will reach a fair agreement soon.”

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