Safeway and Giant need to respect their workers

Work Stoppage Looms as Supermarket Bargaining Goes Down to the Wire
(Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)

With just one full day left of negotiations, UFCW Local 400 charged that area supermarket workers are “no closer to an agreement than we were 10 weeks ago.” Giant and Safeway workers turned out at stores across the region Sunday to let customers know about their battle for a contract. “If Giant and Safeway won’t listen to the workers whose productivity is responsible for their success, perhaps they’ll pay attention to their customers,” said UFCW Local 400 President Tom McNutt. “Certainly, the response we’re getting from our customers and the community is overwhelmingly positive. We are grateful for their support.” A fair agreement “would truly improve the morale at the store level,” said Natalie Bolling, a Safeway food clerk. “Maybe then we can finally get the respect we deserve.” If there is no contract by the March 31 deadline, “Giant Food will continue to lose market share but even faster because they will have lost the people that make them what they are,” said Chris Bell, a receiver at Giant. UFCW Locals 400 and 27 met with Giant and Safeway bargaining teams all weekend and planned to continue negotiations through Monday. While the contract covering some 25,000 area workers does not expire until March 31, Local 400 months ago set March 26 as the last day of bargaining.

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