This is a controversial subject as it hits close to the heart and wallet for many (most?) in the Puget Sound area. I have a lot of friends who work in the grocery industry – but I really question if holding a strike during these trying economic times is the smartest idea they could come up with …
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has given a 72 hour strike notice to Albertsons, Fred Meyers, QFC and Safeway, making real the possibility that over 20,000 workers could walk off their jobs on Monday night at 7pm if no contract agreement is reached.
Negotiations are continuing over issues including pay, holiday pay and cuts to health benefits, but it does not look good and the strike looms.
In my mind this is not just a bad thing for grocery workers and the stores – it is bad news for everyone in our region. No matter the outcome, it seems that consumers will be faced with even higher grocery prices – which have continued to escalate even without labor issues.
The only good that may come of it, is that up to 20,000 or more people who are currently unemployed may be happy to get jobs in the coming weeks.
What do you think? Do you think the grocery workers should strike? Do you feel like the grocery chains should cave to their demands and pass on all the costs to already over burdened consumers? What say YOU?
As a side note – my checker at Safeway this morning said when asked “I guess they want me to be a Walmart employee” and “I have to look out for my pension you know”. Now how many people have a pension any more – besides union and government workers …? I’m just hoping these striking workers won’t be desperate for any job at in the coming months – including working at Walmart.