Worker strikes are in the air these days, it seems. Many of them involve the lowest paid workers in our cities. That brings to mind a recent memorable radio moment when a San Francisco transit strike led a tech CEO in San Francisco to complain via social media that transit workers should be automated. Marketplace's Krissy Clark didn't let him off so easily.
Grocery workers at QFC, Albertsons, Safeway and Fred Meyer have been in contract negotiations since March. Workers take issue with the grocery stores' current contract proposals: their lack of health care coverage, their holiday pay policy and stagnant wages.
The union member bargaining team has recommended a strike vote. The grocery unions, United Food Commercial Workers Local 21, Local 367 and the Teamsters Local 38 are holding strike authorization votes this week. David Hyde talks with UFCW Local 21 communications director Tom Geiger about the potential strike.
For the second time in 10 days, workers at Sakuma Brothers Farms have gone on strike. More than 200 berry pickers have walked off the job at the farm near Burlington, saying they want the farm to pay more for each box of blueberries and strawberries they harvest.
Members of the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players' Organization (SSOPO) voted October 15 to authorize a strike. In a statement on its website, SSOPO representatives say the latest contract offers from both organizations call for 15 percent reductions in pay and benefits for the 2012-2013 season. That's on top of concessions the musicians have already made. The union says its membership can't take further cuts.