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Union plans informational pickets at Kent, Renton grocery stores July 3

Shoppers at grocery stores in Kent, Renton and across the Puget Sound region can expect to see informational pickets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3.

Pickets will stand in front of the stores to promote a fair contract for 30,000 union grocery store workers, according to a Friday media release from UFCW 21, one of the unions that represents the employees. The other unions are UFCW 367 and Teamsters 38.

Pickets will show up at 12 stores, including the Kent Safeway at 20830 108th Ave. S.E.; and the Renton Highlands Safeway at 4300 N.E. Fourth St.

The workers have been in contract negotiations since March. According to the union, the CEOs of Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer and QFC have continued to get paid millions while proposing to:

• Eliminate health care coverage for thousands of Puget Sound area grocery store workers

• Cut pay when people work on holidays like July 4th

• Offer no wage increases and only a 15 cent per hour end of year bonus for the most senior employees

• Cut the 10 cent above minimum wage guarantee for lowest paid workers

• Take away paid sick days for Seattle workers and forbid others in the region from ever getting them

A phone message left by the Kent Reporter for comment from a Safeway spokesperson at its Pleasanton, Calif., headquarters has not yet been returned.

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