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Price checks continue on health care and wages

Contract negotiations regarding health care benefits and wages for unionized grocery workers in the North End are currently under the spotlight by the United Food and Commercial Workers and several Puget Sound grocers.

The labor relations consulting firm Allied Employers Inc. is representing Albertsons, Fred Meyer, QFC and Safeway in the negotiations.

Staff from the Kingston and Poulsbo Albertsons are members of the UFCW and will be affected by the outcome.

The groups are trying to come to terms over health care and wages for unionized grocery workers. The existing contract was expected to expire May 2, but both parties agreed to extend it meeting to meeting as negotiations take place.

Melinda Merrill, spokesperson for the grocers, said union employees would still have a good plan under Allied’s proposal. The employers just need to keep themselves competitive.

“The grocers’ intent here is to fully allow them to be competitive (and) at the same time, to provide good benefits and good wages to their employees,” she said. Merrill also noted that grocers are competing with other employers who are not unionized but still provide good benefits and wages.

Dan Kully, UFCW spokesperson, wouldn’t comment on how the negotiations were progressing, but said “we’re going to do what it takes for how long it takes to make sure we have affordable health care.”

Grocery workers in the Puget Sound area have been unionized for more than 40 years and made the companies what they are today, he explained.

“These grocery workers have really deserved and really need affordable health care,” Kully said, noting the grocers involved “are extraordinarily profitable companies.”

Both groups met April 30 and are expected to meet again May 5. They have agreed to continue meeting through May 20.

Having the current contract extension on a meeting-to-meeting basis allows both parties to continue discussions without the pressure of a contract deadline.

However, at any of the sessions, either side could decide to terminate the contract and give a 72-hour warning to either strike or lock out workers. Merrill said the fact that both parties are continuing to talk means both sides see a reason to stay at the table. She also said that circumstances would have to be extreme for a contract termination.By TIFFANY ROYAL

Staff Writer

Contract negotiations regarding health care benefits and wages for unionized grocery workers in the North End are currently under the spotlight by the United Food and Commercial Workers and several Puget Sound grocers.

The labor relations consulting firm Allied Employers Inc. is representing Albertsons, Fred Meyer, QFC and Safeway in the negotiations.

Staff from the Kingston and Poulsbo Albertsons are members of the UFCW and will be affected by the outcome.

The groups are trying to come to terms over health care and wages for unionized grocery workers. The existing contract was expected to expire May 2, but both parties agreed to extend it meeting to meeting as negotiations take place.

Melinda Merrill, spokesperson for the grocers, said union employees would still have a good plan under Allied’s proposal. The employers just need to keep themselves competitive.

“The grocers’ intent here is to fully allow them to be competitive (and) at the same time, to provide good benefits and good wages to their employees,” she said. Merrill also noted that grocers are competing with other employers who are not unionized but still provide good benefits and wages.

Dan Kully, UFCW spokesperson, wouldn’t comment on how the negotiations were progressing, but said “we’re going to do what it takes for how long it takes to make sure we have affordable health care.”

Grocery workers in the Puget Sound area have been unionized for more than 40 years and made the companies what they are today, he explained.

“These grocery workers have really deserved and really need affordable health care,” Kully said, noting the grocers involved “are extraordinarily profitable companies.”

Both groups met April 30 and are expected to meet again May 5. They have agreed to continue meeting through May 20.

Having the current contract extension on a meeting-to-meeting basis allows both parties to continue discussions without the pressure of a contract deadline.

However, at any of the sessions, either side could decide to terminate the contract and give a 72-hour warning to either strike or lock out workers. Merrill said the fact that both parties are continuing to talk means both sides see a reason to stay at the table. She also said that circumstances would have to be extreme for a contract termination.By TIFFANY ROYAL

Staff Writer

Contract negotiations regarding health care benefits and wages for unionized grocery workers in the North End are currently under the spotlight by the United Food and Commercial Workers and several Puget Sound grocers.

The labor relations consulting firm Allied Employers Inc. is representing Albertsons, Fred Meyer, QFC and Safeway in the negotiations.

Staff from the Kingston and Poulsbo Albertsons are members of the UFCW and will be affected by the outcome.

The groups are trying to come to terms over health care and wages for unionized grocery workers. The existing contract was expected to expire May 2, but both parties agreed to extend it meeting to meeting as negotiations take place.

Melinda Merrill, spokesperson for the grocers, said union employees would still have a good plan under Allied’s proposal. The employers just need to keep themselves competitive.

“The grocers’ intent here is to fully allow them to be competitive (and) at the same time, to provide good benefits and good wages to their employees,” she said. Merrill also noted that grocers are competing with other employers who are not unionized but still provide good benefits and wages.

Dan Kully, UFCW spokesperson, wouldn’t comment on how the negotiations were progressing, but said “we’re going to do what it takes for how long it takes to make sure we have affordable health care.”

Grocery workers in the Puget Sound area have been unionized for more than 40 years and made the companies what they are today, he explained.

“These grocery workers have really deserved and really need affordable health care,” Kully said, noting the grocers involved “are extraordinarily profitable companies.”

Both groups met April 30 and are expected to meet again May 5. They have agreed to continue meeting through May 20.

Having the current contract extension on a meeting-to-meeting basis allows both parties to continue discussions without the pressure of a contract deadline.

However, at any of the sessions, either side could decide to terminate the contract and give a 72-hour warning to either strike or lock out workers. Merrill said the fact that both parties are continuing to talk means both sides see a reason to stay at the table. She also said that circumstances would have to be extreme for a contract termination.By TIFFANY ROYAL

Staff Writer

Contract negotiations regarding health care benefits and wages for unionized grocery workers in the North End are currently under the spotlight by the United Food and Commercial Workers and several Puget Sound grocers.

The labor relations consulting firm Allied Employers Inc. is representing Albertsons, Fred Meyer, QFC and Safeway in the negotiations.

Staff from the Kingston and Poulsbo Albertsons are members of the UFCW and will be affected by the outcome.

The groups are trying to come to terms over health care and wages for unionized grocery workers. The existing contract was expected to expire May 2, but both parties agreed to extend it meeting to meeting as negotiations take place.

Melinda Merrill, spokesperson for the grocers, said union employees would still have a good plan under Allied’s proposal. The employers just need to keep themselves competitive.

“The grocers’ intent here is to fully allow them to be competitive (and) at the same time, to provide good benefits and good wages to their employees,” she said. Merrill also noted that grocers are competing with other employers who are not unionized but still provide good benefits and wages.

Dan Kully, UFCW spokesperson, wouldn’t comment on how the negotiations were progressing, but said “we’re going to do what it takes for how long it takes to make sure we have affordable health care.”

Grocery workers in the Puget Sound area have been unionized for more than 40 years and made the companies what they are today, he explained.

“These grocery workers have really deserved and really need affordable health care,” Kully said, noting the grocers involved “are extraordinarily profitable companies.”

Both groups met April 30 and are expected to meet again May 5. They have agreed to continue meeting through May 20.

Having the current contract extension on a meeting-to-meeting basis allows both parties to continue discussions without the pressure of a contract deadline.

However, at any of the sessions, either side could decide to terminate the contract and give a 72-hour warning to either strike or lock out workers. Merrill said the fact that both parties are continuing to talk means both sides see a reason to stay at the table. She also said that circumstances would have to be extreme for a contract termination.

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