Fred Meyer workers are calling for customers to boycott Oregon and Southwest Washington stores in protest of low wages, alleged gender pay inequities and unfair labor practices.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 said in a statement over the weekend that the request for a boycott comes 15 months after the union began negotiations with management.
"Fred Meyer/Kroger continually refused to respond to reasonable pleas to fix gross inequity in pay," the statement read, "and thereafter committed unfair labor practices to coerce employees to settle for less."
On Monday morning, the Democratic party of Oregon also issued a statement in support of the boycott of the 58 Fred Meyer stores in the region.
"This is an urgent moment," KC Hanson, chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon, said in a statement. "After decades of Republican-led assaults on working people and a constant barrage of anti-worker policies from the Trump administration, now is the time to stand alongside these workers in solidarity and show that Democrats back up our words of labor support with action."
The call for a boycott comes a month after workers in Oregon and Southwest Washington voted to approve a strike. The union has not yet authorized a strike, however.
The union asks people to avoid shopping at Fred Meyer stores until "reasonable contract settlements" are met by management.
"We call on our communities to make sure Kroger and Fred Meyer understand our Northwest values of decency, dignity, and respect by shopping elsewhere until our members are treated in accordance with those values," UFCW Local 555 president Dan Clay said.
In a statement, Fred Meyer said, "We know that recent allegations intended to make Fred Meyer look like an unfair or uncaring employer are an unfortunate misrepresentation of the reality of our great associates."
It continued. "The truth is that these actions don't help the negotiation process at all and calls to boycott Fred Meyer hurt associates and their families, customers and communities and ironically helps competitors, many of which are non-union."
The next round of bargaining is scheduled for Sept. 26-27.