Tentative contract agreement averts strike by grocery workers in region

SEATTLE -- Within only two hours of a strike deadline, a tentative contract agreement was announced Monday in the talks between the unions representing the Puget Sound region's grocery workers and four major food store chains.

"We are very pleased to announce that today at 5 p.m. the union member bargaining team from UFCW (United Food Commercial Workers union Locals) 21 & 367 and Teamsters 38 reached a tentative agreement with the national grocery chains in contract negotiations," Tom Geiger of the UFCW Local 21 said. "This tentative agreement has been unanimously recommended by the union member bargaining team.

"Details will not to be released until after union members themselves 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.

The unions represented 21,000 grocery workers at Safeway, Albertsons, QFC and Fred Meyer stores in the region.

A strike had been set to start at 7 p.m. Monday if a contract agreement had not been reached.