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Fred Meyer, QFC grocery workers strike around Oregon

December 17, 2021 GMT

A week-long strike is underway affecting a number of Oregon grocery stores, barely a week before Christmas Day.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555, representing many employees at Fred Meyer and QFC stores, confirmed early Friday morning that it is moving ahead with a walkout at stores in Portland, Bend, Newberg and Klamath Falls, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

The details and specifics of a walkout are complicated. While the UFCW represents roughly 10,000 Fred Meyer employees, not all stores, departments or worker categories are participating in the strike.

The union has been in labor negotiations for months with the Kroger-owned supermarket chains. Last weekend, UFCW announced its members had authorized a strike.

Union representatives said that Fred Meyer has been underpaying certain workers, in violation of contract terms. The grocery chain hasn’t been providing necessary information to the union to refute or verify its concern, or to address it through the grievance process, according to the union. Workers are also seeking wage increases.

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A Fred Meyer statement provided to OPB confirmed that its stores affected by the strike, along with impacted QFC stores, remain open for customers. In the statement, Fred Meyer and QFC called the decision by UFCW Local 555 to strike “reckless.”

The companies are urging the union to “consider the full implications for its members heading into the holiday season.”

In at least one store in the Portland metropolitan area, Fred Meyer posted signs at the entrance offering $17 an hour for new hires willing to cross a picket line.