The United Food and Commercial Workers 400 (UFCW Local 400), which represents thousands of Giant and Safeway workers in the region, announced that it reached a tentative agreement with Giant on Tuesday night, following its threat of a possible strike after five months of talks.
The members will meet on March 5 to vote on the agreement, according to Marc Federici, president of the union.
On the other hand, many Safeway workers across the D.C. area can still go on strike, because they failed to agree on a contract with the company. The union could vote on March 5 to authorize a strike if the negotiations between the two parties cannot come fruition by that date.
“We are recommending Safeway members vote to reject the company’s offer and authorize a strike at their stores if the company’s offer has not improved. As Giant workers, we must support our brothers and sisters at Safeway so they can get the same fair offer,” the union said in its statement. “If Safeway workers go on strike, we know we can count on our members at Giant to have their backs.”
We're proud to announce that we have reached a tentative deal with Giant. However Safeway is another story. On March 5, we will take a strike vote at Safeway if we don't have a fair contract. https://t.co/LyhalZSaew
— UFCW Local 400 (@UFCW400) February 19, 2020
Last week, UFCW Local 400 announced that it was planning to hold a rally and a press conference on February 19, after negotiations on a union deal failed. The union was going to take a strike vote at Giant & Safeway.
During the past five months, both Giant and Safeway reportedly insisted on cuts to healthcare funding and retirement benefits.
The chains also proposed a three-year freeze on wages for newly hired employees in D.C. and Maryland at the minimum wage.
Jonathan Williams, a spokesperson for the union, told WAMU, that the plan was unacceptable, adding “if you … pay union dues and you make minimum wage, you actually earn less than at any other job.”