QFC, Fred Meyer workers union files complaint against company for banning Black Lives Matter buttons

A local union has filed a labor complaint against Kroger-owned QFC and Fred Meyer stores over their policy banning employees from wearing Black Lives Matter buttons while working.

The complaint, filed with the National Labor Relations Board by UFCW 21, alleges that the ban amounts to unfair labor practices and is a violation of the workers' contracts. 

The labor union distributed the buttons to its roughly 13,000 Puget Sound area workers in August. 

The Seattle Times spoke to one employee who said QFC offered a wristband that said "Standing Together" as an alternative. 

“I get pulled over by cops for having a nice car to the point that my husband, who is white, has to drive so I can just feel safe," said Everett Fred Meyer worker Shawntia Cunningham. "I have been called the ‘N’ word by customers at my store a few times. I need this company to respect us as human beings and to respect our rights as workers. I need Fred Meyer and QFC and all Kroger to see that Black lives really do matter.” 

The National Labor Relations Board investigation could take a month or two.