BREAKING NEWS OHA reports 303 new coronavirus cases, 4 deaths Full Story

Union calls for Fred Meyer boycott ahead of negotiations

The union is negotiating on behalf of about 25,000 workers across Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Posted: Sep 23, 2019 6:20 PM
Updated: Sep 23, 2019 6:20 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The union representing Fred Meyer workers is hoping that a boycott will put pressure on the grocer ahead of the next round of negotiations.

UFCW Local 555 said they called for the boycott after 15 months of ongoing negotiations with the grocer and its parent company, Kroger. The union is asking for better wages and the removal of what they call a gender wage gap within the company. The union said employees at the stores are currently working without a contract.

The union is negotiating on behalf of about 25,000 workers across Oregon and Southwest Washington.

In its call for the boycott, they said the company has "continually refused to respond to reasonable pleas to fix gross inequity in pay and thereafter committed unfair labor practices to coerce employees to settle for less."

The union authorized a strike weeks ago. Representative Jeff White said members in the Eugene and Springfield area are training for a strike Monday night in the case negotiations stall.

RELATED: Grocery store workers' union, employers battle over higher wages

"We hope it doesn't come to that, but we always prepare for it. It is another economic action we can take against the company. We hope it doesn't come to that, and hope this Thursday and Friday they come to us with a better offer."

According to Fred Meyer spokesperson Jeffery Temple, boycotts and strikes can actually harm the employees themselves.

"It doesn't help the negotiation process at all. A boycott against Fred Meyer can actually hurt associates and their families, and ironically help competitors, many of which are non-union." 

Customers KEZI 9 News spoke with said they supported the workers but were unwilling to stop shopping at the store. One customer was a former employee and said the issues the union brings up have been problems for decades.

"It doesn't surprise me. The writing was on the wall then. If they have the same type of management style then I would imagine the same problems still exist," said Aaron Danton.

According to Temple, the company has taken note of the boycott.

"We have certainly heard a mixed bag. There's a general concern, but most people want to make sure their store is open," he said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 9636

Reported Deaths: 209
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah236169
Marion159547
Washington149120
Clackamas79524
Umatilla6674
Union3551
Lincoln3452
Deschutes2010
Lane1963
Malheur1601
Linn1569
Polk15412
Jackson1400
Yamhill1328
Jefferson1310
Klamath1251
Benton915
Hood River880
Wasco851
Morrow821
Clatsop490
Douglas450
Josephine441
Coos420
Columbia350
Lake200
Tillamook130
Crook120
Wallowa100
Curry80
Baker40
Sherman20
Grant10
Harney10
Gilliam00
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
Eugene
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 57°
Corvallis
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 56°
Roseburg
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 60°
North Bend
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 54°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events