Members of United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 voted overwhelmingly this afternoon to authorize a strike against Safeway, joining their fellow members working at Giant who also voted this morning to authorize a strike against their employer. At both stores, UFCW Local 400 members are fired up about management’s refusal to offer a fair contract.
Their current contract originally expired on October 31st. It has been extended twice, now through December 20th. Today’s vote does not mean that a strike will occur, but it lets Safeway and Giant know loud and clear that members are ready to take this step if they determine it is the only way to get a decent contract.
“This afternoon, our members sent Giant and Safeway the strongest possible message—step up to the plate with a collective bargaining agreement that recognizes how essential their hard work, productivity and customer service is to the company’s profitability and growth,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici.
“The big issue at the table has been health care and today, our union brothers and sisters refused to go backward and authorized our local union leadership to call a strike,” said Vivian Sigouin, a Bargaining Advisory Committee member who works at Safeway #1431.
“We’re the ones making all their money and it’s about time they recognize that and start respecting us,” said Tasha Schrantz, a Local 400 member serving on the Bargaining Advisory Committee who works at Giant #749. “Now more than ever, we have a stand up together because actions speak louder than words.”
Members at both Safeway and Giant pledged to continue a series of store actions informing customers and community members about the importance of local retailers providing their workers with living wages, health and retirement security, and respect.