RICHLAND, Wash. — Staff members at the Fred Meyer grocery store in Richland have been through a lot thus far in 2022. Between unionization efforts, an active shooter situation that left a worker wounded and another controversial shoplifting incident, these employees reached terms on an agreement with the Kroger Corporation.
Roughly 250 employees at the Richland Fred Meyer voted to bargain through unionization efforts, and just this week, they tentatively came to terms with the grocery store and retailer’s corporate leadership. A final vote will be held on Friday, Oct. 7.
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Through this agreement, employees are expected to gain access to affordable healthcare, improved wages, tenure for longtime workers and mandatory training exercises.
As part of the emergency training, Fred Meyer employees based out of Richland will learn best practices and procedures in the event of an active shooter or similar situation like the one they experience in February. During that incident, a male suspect shot and killed one man and seriously injured another employee.
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This event sent shockwaves through the Tri-Cities community and traumatized many of the employees who were involved. Now, through this tentative agreement, management would have a more clear line of communication with corporate-level management to discuss safety concerns and protect employees and shoppers alike.
Furthermore, increased healthcare access and stable wage increases — including provisions that prevent wages from falling below minimum wage — would be instilled.
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