Strike Notice Given By Puget Sound Grocery Workers

SEATTLE (AP) — A union spokesman says four grocery chains with stores in the Puget Sound area have been given notice that 21,000 union workers could strike Monday evening if no contract agreement is reached.

United Food and Commercial Workers spokesman Tom Geiger says 72-hour strike notice was given Friday night to QFC, Safeway, Albertsons and Fred Meyer stores.

He has said union members in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston and Mason counties have rejected current proposals and voted to authorize a strike.

Geiger told a Friday night news conference that negotiations continue. He says unresolved issues include wages, holiday pay and health benefits. The spokesman says he hopes for “a big turnaround” and acceptable proposals.

Allied Employers Vice President Scott Powers is the employers’ lead negotiator.

In a statement, he says “the only way to work through the remaining issues is at the bargaining table.” He says the companies remain committed to reaching an agreement that is good for both sides.

The last area grocery strike was in 1989 and lasted nearly three months.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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