GROCERY STORE

Safeway Workers to Vote on Possible Strike in DC Area

Giant has reached an agreement with workers at D.C. area stores, the union says

NBC Universal, Inc.

Employees of two major grocery store chains in the D.C. area rallied Wednesday to announce details on an upcoming vote that could cause thousands of workers to walk off the job.

About 25,000 workers from hundreds of Giant Food and Safeway stores in D.C., Maryland and Virginia considered a strike over wages, healthcare and retirement benefits, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 said in a press release.

Giant and Safeway workers rallied together outside a Safeway on 4th Street SW Wednesday, chanting, "We work, we sweat, we want more in our checks."

The union announced it struck a tentative deal with Giant — but not Safeway.

"We'll simply recite these words: Give me a fair contract, give me better wages, help me feed my family, and if you agree to all of that, then we got a deal," Safeway employee Natalie Bolling said.

In a statement to News4, Safeway said it is "committed to remaining at the bargaining table to work through our challenges and reach an agreement that rewards our employees."

Safeway workers say they plan to vote March 5 on the potential strike.

Giant workers will also meet that day to vote on their contract agreement.

In the event of a strike, Safeway said its stores will continue operating and serving its customers.

Workers and representatives from the grocery chains have been negotiating a new contract that would cover all D.C. area stores since October, the union says.

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