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Grocery store shoppers can sign up for strike alert service

Shoppers in Kent, Auburn and throughout the Puget Sound area can sign up for a community-run "Strike Alert Service," in case contract talks fall apart and grocery workers go out on strike.

Shoppers say they want to be prepared if talks do not go well Thursday and Friday between Safeway, QFC, Fred Meyer, Albertsons negotiators and grocery store employees, according to the website StandWithOurCheckers.com.

People can text the word Checkers to 313131 to sign up for text alerts when one of their local grocery stores goes on strike. A reply message asks for a zip code. When grocery employees go on strike at a store in their zip code, shoppers will receive an alert and suggestions of other open stores in the area.

People can also sign up for email alerts at StandWithOurCheckers.com.

The current negotiations between the Teamsters Local 38, UFCW and the four major grocery chains have been going on for more than six months.

Any grocery work strike would give 72-hour notice to employers.

Grocery workers in four counties gave a 98 percent approval last month to authorize a strike against Fred Meyer, Safeway, QFC and Albertsons stores.

Management is still proposing a contract that would cut pay (including holiday pay) and cut benefits (including elimination of health care coverage for those working less than 30 hours a week), according to UFCW 21. About 30,000 workers are represented by three unions UFCW 21, UFCW 367 and Teamsters 38, whose bargaining teams recommended the strike vote.

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