Hundreds of supermarket workers and their allies rallied and marched through downtown Washington Thursday, demanding fair contracts with Giant and Safeway. Negotiations officially start today. “Why now?” asked UFCW 400 president Mark Federici. “Why not!” After seeing New England supermarket workers forced out on strike earlier this year, and with both Giant and Safeway reaping hefty profits, local supermarket workers “are rightly expecting a fair contract,” Federici told Union City. “Our members make Giant and Safeway profitable and the dominant grocery chains in the Washington, D.C. area,” Federici said, noting that “It speaks for itself that we’re out here today with such big numbers and such enthusiasm before there’s even a crisis.” A number of other area unions and allies turned out for the rally and march, including a major contingent from AFGE. “We’re experiencing some of the same issues in contract negotiations as UFCW Local 400,” AFGE District 14’s Eric Bunn told Union City, “That’s why we’re here in solidarity, supporting them.” AFGE’s “Fed UP! Rise UP! AFGE Rally and Lobby Day” is set for Tue, September 24 at 12 noon (see Calendar).
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