President Michael Hines
MAINTAINING AND BUILDING OUR MARKETSHARE
July 13, 2023, will stand as a watershed moment for Local 367 as we witnessed the Lacey Fred Meyer General Merchandise unit vote by super majority in favor of unionization.
This was the culmination of a three-year organizing project which was launched at the time I stepped into office. Several Clicklist departments within Fred Meyer and QFC had been ignored for far too long and three General Merchandise units sat unorganized for more than twenty years. In the case of Lacey, more than thirty. One of my first priorities was to establish an Organizing Department so we could target specific locations and increase market share.
Why is this important?
Market share determines our ability to negotiate strong contracts and enforce the language contained within.
“This latest victory is the culmination of a three-year organizing project designed to close our ranks and better position us for 2025 contract negotiations. Our Lacey group ensures we are now wall to wall at every Fred Meyer shop throughout the six counties we represent. It’s a good day for our entire membership.”
Prior to this project, we had one Fred Meyer General Merchandise contract covering Pierce County. The Sumner store was still non-union even though the CBA has an “accretion” clause that dictates a process of collecting a majority of applications for union recognition. This was achieved several months ago and adds 70 new members to the current bargaining unit. There is strength in numbers so the next time we negotiate a new contract, we have a much better chance of securing wages that are on par with the grocery contract. It also moves us closer to a single contract which covers all Fred Meyer employees.
The Tumwater Fred Meyer General Merchandise unit won an election in June of 2022 and a first contract was negotiated that lines up the expiration date with Pierce County. For the same reason as above, this gives greater strength to all General Merchandise, and we expect to do the same with the newly organized Lacey group. That’s another 150 members and more power at the bargaining table.
Our efforts did not stop with organizing the rest of the Clicklist and GM units. When a new Metropolitan Market opened in Gig Harbor, we immediately dispatched staff to sign up the store and there were new fuel centers that opened in our jurisdiction as well.
As we continue to monitor the proposed Kroger Albertson’s merger, our focus is on positioning Local 367 to organize any stores that may be divested or sold to non-union corporations. We will also continue our efforts to oppose the merger through several avenues and will have more information in the coming months.
Any active member who would like to engage in volunteer organizing, whether as part of our market share program or expansion into other industries, please contact your representative for more information.
This is an exciting time for our Union.
President and Organize