Grocery workers strike likely won't happen for weeks

by: Henry Rosoff Updated:

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SEATTLE - It could be at least two weeks before the Puget Sound region sees a grocery store workers strike.

The United Food and Commercial Workers announced late Friday there would be more negotiating with Safeway, QFC, Albertson's and Fred Meyer stores Oct. 10 and 11. The news came two days after 30,000 union members voted to allow leaders to give notice of a strike if they saw fit.

Union leaders said with the new dates, they could hear offers of better healthcare and fewer cuts to workers hours from management.

Meanwhile, KIRO 7 learned that a strike might make it more difficult for people to get medication at grocery store pharmacies. A spokesperson for the local Teamsters says UPS workers, who deliver thousands of packages containing medicine each day, can refuse to cross picket lines. If they refuse to cross a grocery store picket line, those packages might not get to grocery store pharmacies, forcing customers to buy their medicines at other pharmacies.

A spokesperson for the Teamsters said some union drivers might also refuse to deliver food and beverages to grocery stores.

A spokesman for the UFCW said gas stations that are paired with grocery stores likely will not be affected because fuel is delivered by non-union independent contractors.