Grocery store workers, store owners heading back to the table

By Rachel Pritchett

The two sides in protracted grocery-store labor negotiations will return to the bargaining table.
According to a statement issued Friday from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, their negotiators and those from Allied Employers, which represents Albertsons, Fred Meyer, QFC and Safeway, will begin a new round of talks next Thursday and Friday.
The decision was made Friday morning.
This week, 94 percent of the thousands of grocery-store workers throughout Western Washington voted to authorize a strike. Many hundreds participated in two voting opportunities in Bremerton.
The strike-authorization vote followed months of contract extensions affecting a core 15,000 workers after their contracts expired beginning in May. It remains in effect.
Issues centered on pay for all days workers were sick, and new wage, hour and benefit levels in a recessionary economy.

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