SEATTLE -- Just about 90 minutes before a 7 p.m. Monday deadline, it was announced that a union member bargaining team had reached a tentative agreement with the national grocery chains in contract negotiations.
The announcement, made on the UFCW 21 Facebook page, said the tentative agreement has been unanimously recommended by the union member bargaining team.
UFCW said details will not to be released until after union members have had the opportunity to review the tentative agreement and vote on it.
The times and locations of those vote meetings will be announced in the coming days after arrangements have been made to schedule the votes, they said.
A statement from Allied Employers on behalf of Albertsons, QFC, Fred Meyer and Safeway said We are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative settlement agreement with the unions that continues to preserve good wages, secure pensions and access to quality, affordable health care for our employees.
The statement said details of the tentative agreement will not be made public pending ratification.
Opinions on the UFCW 21 Facebook page were varied.
Never been so happy to have to go to work tomorrow, said one person.
I am still not excited about this tentative agreement until I know what is on the table. I agree stores ran up their sales by having consumers flood their stores in case of strike. Will stand strong until I know what the contract is that I can work with, said another.
A strike by the United Food and Commercial Workers would have affected QFC, Safeway, Albertsons and Fred Meyer stores in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston and Mason counties.
Many customers have said they would've stood behind their grocery workers, and shopped at alternative stores instead.
Upon hearing that a tentative agreement had been reached, shoppers were relieved.
Oh really? said a customer at the Lower Queen Anne Safeway. That's fantastic!
Others said they are just grateful it's over.
People don't generally strike without some kind of reason, said Ron Butcher. So if they sorted it out, that's good.
Union workers have been at Westlake Park since Friday night and were ready to stay there until Monday's deadline and beyond.
The last grocery strike in the area in 1989 lasted nearly three months.