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Dori Monson

Will you cross the picket line if grocery workers strike?

Dori Monson wants to know if you'll be willing to cross the picket line should grocery workers in the Puget Sound area strike. (AP Photo/file)

Taken from Thursday's edition of The Dori Monson Show.

I've got a question for you, if grocery stores locally go on strike, will you cross the picket line?

We now might be days away from the first grocery strike in our area in 24 years. The last one was 1989, but union grocery workers for four major chains Albertson's, QFC, Safeway and Fred Meyer - they're saying if they don't get a deal in the next few days, they are ready to strike. They've already been authorized to strike by a vote of 98 percent of their members.

One of the big sticking points is they want to make sure the companies will keep giving health care benefits for employees who work less than 30 hours per week.

I've said before, get whatever you can negotiate. I don't have any problem with them threatening to strike if they think that is what they have to do. You're free to do that in the free market.

But I would cross the picket line in a heartbeat and I'll tell you why.

My first two jobs were in a grocery store. My dad was a grocery store worker most of his life. I know a lot about the grocery business. I've lived in the same neighborhood for 25 years and I shop at the same Albertson's. I'm there several times a week and I really love the workers at my neighborhood Albertson's store. I really love the management at my local Albertson's store. I think it's a really well run store.

But frankly, I don't have a gripe with either side enough to honor a picket line. Because if the workers think that is what they've got to do, that's what they've got to do. But I'm not going to start driving a couple miles out of my way to go to a different store.

I like both sides in this dispute. Whatever they hammer out, they can hammer out, but would I cross the picket line, absolutely I would, in a heartbeat.

Tom Geiger is the union rep representing these grocery store workers.

"Our expectation is that the employers are going to come to that negotiation session with some serious proposals," says Geiger.

And here's what Geiger says the union wants from you as a grocery store customer.

"Strongly watching the way these negotiations go, or if they don't go well, that they would be looking to take their obviously many millions of dollars of consumer power away from a store that maybe struck and to spend that money elsewhere."

That won't happen with me. I'm not going to inconvenience my life because of a dispute between two sides when I like both sides. I like the workers, and I like the people who run my Albertsons, so I'm not going to change around my life to support one side over the other. I'm cool with both sides in this dispute. You guys hammer out what you're going to hammer out, but I'm not going to change my life around it.

Any of you going to honor a grocery store strike?

Taken from Thursday's edition of The Dori Monson Show.


The Dori Monson Show on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

Listen to Dori Monson every weekday at 12noon on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. Seattle's News, Seattle's Talk.

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