Labor unrest spreads through grocery industry

The grocery workers are demanding higher wages..

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555 has authorized a strike for 20,000 grocery employees at Safeway, Albertsons, QFC and Fred Meyer locations in the Pacific Northwest, according to Salon News, a media outlet.

The grocery workers are demanding higher wages and an end to what they call the gender pay gap that permeates their stores. 

This isn’t the first labor fight that has gripped the grocery industry this year, according to Salon. In April, roughly 31,000 employees at the New England grocery chain Stop & Shop went on strike at over 240 stores. The grocer, an Ahold Delhaize company, has come to a tentative agreement in April of terms with five local unions (UFCW Locals 1445, 1459, 919, 371 and 328), which allowed Stop & Shop's 31,000 associates in New England to return to work.

"I am pleased that Stop & Shop's management and the five local unions have tentatively reached a fair and responsible contract in which all Stop & Shop associates are offered pay increases, eligible associates have continued excellent health coverage and eligible associates have ongoing defined benefit pension benefits," said Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize. "I know that both Stop & Shop management and its associates are proud to welcome customers back and look forward to taking care of them every day."

To read the Salon news article, click here