Giant, Safeway Unions Taking Strike Votes
Locals cite slow progress on talks to renew extended labor deal
Winsight Grocery Business
Feb. 10, 2020
Citing five months of fruitless negotiations, union-represented workers at Giant Food and Safeway stores in the Mid-Atlantic region are voting on whether to authorize a strike against their employers.
United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 400 and 27, which represent about 26,000 associates at Giant and Safeway stores in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware, said strike authorization votes began last week. The sides have been negotiating a deal to replace a contract that was to have expired Oct. 26 of last year but was mutually extended by the parties. Either side can opt out of the extension on 72 hours' notice, workers said. An authorization vote would grant union negotiators the right to call a strike.
According to the unions, Giant, a division of Ahold Delhaize, and Safeway, a division of Albertsons, have thus far presented “insulting proposals” that would set starting wage rates below minimum-wage thresholds in Washington, D.C., and Maryland and freeze pay at minimum wages for three years; would cap available hours for part-time associates; and cut healthcare and pension funding.
A federal mediator has been...