by Matt Luby
on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 3:33 PM
Wondering if there's still a grocery-workers strike looming in the week of Thanksgiving? So was I, but the official word is mum. According to both UFCW 21 (the union employees) and Allied Employers (the firm negotiating on behalf of the big four grocery chains) there is no news to report from the latest round of grocery contract negotiations wrapping up today.
But then I just got a call.
A woman from QFC called my cell phone asking if I wanted to interview on Sunday for a temporary job in their grocery store?
First question: "Would you be willing to cross a picket line?"
The background: The previous contract between the workers and employers expired on November 15, shortly after the last pre-deadline attempt at a new contract was voted down by 94 percent of UFCW voting members. Even though union workers did not like the proposed contract's reduced wage premiums and were unsatisfied by its seemingly large employer contributions to pensions and health benefits, both sides said a strike was unlikely the last time I spoke to them.
So maybe a strike is likely? And to answer the QFC lady's question, I said yes (being an unpaid intern is fun, but a guy's got to eat).