Expect to encounter Teamster Union members this weekend at your local Fred Meyer or QFC stores. They’ll be leafleting shoppers there – not striking – to let customers know their side of an unresolved dispute over medical insurance costs.
The Teamsters work at the company’s Puyallup regional warehouse. The union represents 362 workers there who load, unload goods, stock shelves and do other tasks at the warehouse that serves Washington, Alaska and Idaho Fred Meyer and QFC stores.
Both Fred Meyer and QFC stores, based in the Northwest, are now owned by Cincinnati’s Kroger Co.
Those warehouse workers have been without a contract since Aug. 15. Negotiations are hung up, claims the union, over the company’s medical plan.
That plan’s cost to workers more than doubled over the duration of the contract, said Teamsters Local 117 spokesman Paul Zilly.
“Our deductibles, our share of the costs and co-pays have all gone up,” he said Friday. Health care contracts signed by the union at other local grocers including Safeway and SuperValu, aren’t as expensive to workers as Krogers, he said.
Kroger spokespersons did not return phone calls to comment Friday.