Fry’s, Safeway employing temps as strike looms

Fry’s and Safeway grocery merchants and United Food stuff and Professional Workers Local ninety nine in Phoenix remained at odds Monday above a new agreement and threatened strike.

Union users had voted to strike citing problems which includes health care premiums, pension funding and salaries as the union and companies flailed in negotiations to renew a agreement extension that expired Oct. 31.

Fry’s Food stuff Store spokeswoman mentioned the Kroger Co. subsidiary is advertising for substitute employees in anticipation of a strike, but hopes employees will be permitted to vote on the most current proposal. Safeway Inc. also is employing temps.

The union has set a Nov. 13, six p.m. deadline for receipt of an satisfactory provide. Negotiations will continue this 7 days, mentioned Cathy Kloos, Safeway director of public affairs for Arizona.

“Fry’s has provided a very good proposal in a incredibly tricky local economic system,” mentioned Joellen Lynn, director of public and local community affairs for Fry’s Food stuff Outlets Phoenix. “We are puzzled why the union would not allow a vote.”

UCFW, on the other hand, has been adamant in its posture, according to negotiation updates and other info on its Website internet site. A Nov. seven submitting mentioned: “There is an absurd idea staying floated by companies that the union should really re-vote their unacceptable proposals. Practically nothing the companies have proposed has improved considerably.”

To get ready for the likelihood of a strike, Fry’s has presently hired and is coaching two,five hundred non permanent employees to continue assistance at its merchants, which have been operating in Phoenix given that 1960. Lynn mentioned there now are no designs to cut store hours if a strike should really take place. The emphasis will be on non permanent hires and pushing for yet another vote, she mentioned.

Kloos mentioned there has been a huge reaction to its ads for non permanent employees with lines at all eight interview places across the state.

Lynn mentioned the most current proposal would not impose co-premiums for present employees’ health insurance protection. New hires would have to pay between $five and $fifteen a 7 days, relying on the variety of people today lined.

It also phone calls for various income will increase relying on employee position, $seven million in new funding to stabilize the company’s pension fund, and present cards.

The proposals from the two meals chains are the very same, Kloos mentioned, adding that officers sense the provide is “realistic.” Well being care continues to be the sticking issue she mentioned, noting the proposed premiums for new hires are “a lot less than most people today across the region pay.”

The union counters that co-premiums could continue to grow to be a truth for all employees and that wage will increase are not ample.

Fry’s has a hundred and twenty merchants and employs 17,000 in the state. About twelve,000 of those people are union users, Lynn mentioned. Safeway has 116 merchants with about 10,000 possibly influenced by a strike. Union officers did not reply to requests for remark.