Cargo Workers Stage Job Actions

Backed by Teamsters Local 117, workers at several loading companies in the Puget Sound region were scheduled to stage job actions Friday at distribution centers operated by Safeway, Fred Meyer and Unified Grocers, among others.

SEATTLE — Backed by Teamsters Local 117, workers at several loading companies in the Puget Sound region were scheduled to stage job actions Friday at distribution centers operated by Safeway [3], Fred Meyer and Unified Grocers, [4] among others.

The workers — called “lumpers” — are hired by third-party carriers to unload cargo at warehouse distribution centers. According to a teamsters press release, they are paid by the unit, or "piecework," rather than on an hourly basis and receive no health care or retirement benefits.

Teamsters Local 117 filed representation petitions Thursday as part of an effort to organize the lumpers, local sources told SN. Workers demonstrated outside Unified's facility here and were scheuled to hold similar "March on the Boss" actions later in the day at Kroger Co [5].'s Fred Meyer warehouse in Puyallup, Wash.; at a Safeway distribution center in Auburn, Wash.; and at facilities in Kent, Wash., operated by Sysco and Food Services of America.

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