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Grocery Workers in Alaska Stand Together for a Better Life

March 15, 2023 Updated: April 14, 2023

About 125 members of UFCW Local 1496 who work at three Fred Meyer stores in Fairbanks and Eagle River, Alaska, ratified contracts on Feb. 7 and 17 that raise wages and improve benefits.

Members of UFCW Local 1496 who work at the Meat and Seafood Department at the Eagle River Fred Meyer #668 store ratified their first union contract on Feb. 17.

The stores in Fairbanks are Fred Meyer East #485 and Fred Meyer West #224. The Fred Meyer East #485 store includes members in jobs ranging from stocking shelves to cashier training in all food departments, including meat and seafood, bakery, deli, Starbucks, produce and grocery. The Fred Meyer West #224 store includes members in the Meat and Seafood Department, which is the store’s only unionized department. Members in the two stores in Fairbanks ratified their contracts on Feb. 7.

The Eagle River Fred Meyer #668 store includes members in the Meat and Seafood Department, which is the only unionized department in the store. The workers at the Eagle River Fred Meyer #668 store joined UFCW Local 1496 last June, and ratified their contract on Feb. 17, which is their first union agreement.

The 16-month contracts, which were negotiated together for all three Fred Meyer stores, include wage increases, a one-time lump sum ratification bonus to all members, and additional increases to Sunday and night premium pay. The contracts improve sick pay so that any member with a full bank of sick leave will have first day paid instead of waiting until day three. The contracts also include improvements to Fred Meyer’s Meat Cutter Apprentice Program, and secure better access to the disciplinary process at the store level, which will allow Union Representatives more freedom to assist and defend members that are having issues at work.

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