Fred Meyer warehouse workers authorize strike amid talks

Fred Meyer warehouse workers authorize strike amid talks
TACOMA, Wash. – Hundreds of workers of the Fred Meyer distribution center have voted to authorize a strike as they prepare for another negotiation session with their employer.

The union workers, who work at the grocery chain’s Puyallup warehouse, made the decision over the weekend. 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 362 represented employees failed to come to an agreement during the five negotiation meetings they’ve had in recent months.

The point of contention was not immediately clear; however, Tracey A. Thompson, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 117, said the following in a statement: “The Fred Meyer facility in Puyallup is Kroger’s most productive facility. For Kroger to say that workers who have made its company profitable do not deserve the same benefits as workers at other grocery distribution centers in our area is an insult.

The two sides have extended their current contract until Aug. 15, when they are scheduled to reconvene at the negotiating table.

Officials with Fred Meyer were not immediately available for comment.