November 8, 2009 by USA Post 

UFCW Local 99 representatives will meet with grocery workers in Tucson Monday to answer questions for workers about the ongoing contract negotiations with Fry’s. The union has set a deadline of Nov. 13 for Fry’s to approve a new contract with the workers. A strike vote has already taken place, authorizing union members to strike if no contract agreement is in place by the deadline.

Fry’s has begin advertising for replacement workers as it plans for the possibility of strike. According to the ads, a starting wage of $9.50 is being offered. The union grocery workers would receive about $100 a week if they strike. The are paid between $7.20 and $12.05 an hour.

At issue is health benefits for workers, which were paid for by the company. Under a proposed new contract, workers would have to pay for part of their health insurance costs.

It’s estimated that Fry’s and Safeway workers, both covered by Local 99, number some 27,000 hourly employees at grocery stores throughout Arizona. If they strike, the action would take place as holiday shoppers are stocking up for the winter holidays.

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