by: Henry Rosoff Updated:SEATTLE, Wash. —
Fred Meyer workers are threatening a strike they say will wipe food from the shelves of 140 stores.
At the Puyallup Fred Meyer distribution center, 407 teamsters help distribute everything from produce to frozen foods to Fred Meyer and QFC stores across Washington, Alaska and parts of Idaho.
The workers said the company wants to bring in subcontractors, which might take away union jobs.
“We have to do what we have to do,” said distribution worker Darius Aremcibia. “We have to stand up for us. We’d stop production everywhere, stores wouldn’t get nothing.”
A Fred Meyer spokeswoman says the company has “…an action plan in place should a strike vote occur that will enable us to continue servicing [the] customers.”
However, shoppers inside QFC and Fred Meyer stores Monday are still nervous there might not be food on the shelves soon.
“I understand when people need to do that,” Leanna Mancuso said outside a Fred Meyer store. “But it is an inconvenience to everyone especially when we can’t get the things that we need.”
The near grocery workers strike in 2013, involving the employees actually inside the stores, was avoided at the last minute. There is another negotiating session between the distribution workers and Fred Meyer on Sept. 9. After that date, a strike could be declared.