Tukwila

After weeks of talks, Fred Meyer warehouse workers vote to strike

Hundreds of workers at the Fred Meyer distribution center have voted to strike after negotiation talks with the employer broke down.

The union workers, who work at the grocery chain's Puyallup warehouse, announced the decision on Sunday. The facility serves approximately 140 stores.

Since negotiations began in June, Teamsters at other grocery warehouses - namely Safeway, SuperValu and Unified Grocers - have reached a deal with their employers.

However, Fred Meyer and its nearly 300 represented employees failed to agree on a health care plan. The union said it has made two proposals in an effort to reach a compromise, but those ideas were "flatly rejected" by Fred Meyer, who did not submit a counteroffer.

The Teamsters on Saturday filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Fred Meyer, accusing them of 10 violations of federal labor law, including bad faith bargaining.

"Despite stating that it would bargain with the Union over health care for its warehouse workers, Fred Meyer continues to engage in unlawful surface bargaining to thwart its warehouse workers' attempts to obtain quality, affordable medical care for their families," the union said in a written statement.

Fred Meyer officials were not immediately available for comment.