by: KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:
Local grocery store workers voted to strike, meaning there could be a massive work stoppage by next week.
A walkout would affect Fred Meyer, QFC, Albertson’s and Safeway stores throughout the state.
Local 367 of the United Food and Commercial Workers – a group of roughly 30,000 workers - told KIRO 7 that members were angry over cuts in medical insurance and salary being offered in the latest proposal by the four stores. Under the proposal, any employee working fewer than 30 hours a week would not be offered health benefits.
Under the coming Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” employers would not be forced to offer health insurance for staff working 30 hours or less.
Jessica Roach, who’s worked at the Gig Harbor Fred Meyer for 25 years, told KIRO 7 the proposal angers veteran workers.
“Automatically, we have like 9,000 people that will be thrown off the medical care plan,” Roach said. “Hours are being cut for people who have been on staff for decades. It's amazing to think that a company that's always cared for its employees has such little care all of the sudden!"
Roach said she feels most workers are motivated to strike out of frustration.
"I grew up there basically, in the 25 years that I've been there, to see how disrespectful that they can treat us, it's disgusting," she said.