PCC Community Markets employs about 1,600 hourly workers who are part of a local labor union.
A work stoppage has been averted at PCC Community Markets. The Washington-area co-op and its employees reached a deal this week, coming to terms a few days after union members had authorized a strike.
The agreement includes higher wages and more secure health care benefits. In a statement released after the deal, UFCW 3000 lauded the $20.22 starting wages and $27.15 journey-level wages for store associates. “We won wage increases that will put us ahead of every other grocery store in the region, recognizing our hard work and expertise. We won wage scales that will help foster retention by allowing workers to reach top of the scale within three years of employment. We protected our high road healthcare and pension,” the statement declared.
The arrangement also includes funding for future training programs and improvements to work schedules, like allowing workers to get more hours when available. According UFCW 3000, a committee will be created to discuss profit share for workers to “benefit from PCC profit and gain greater insight into PCC financials.”
The ratified contract comes after negotiations simmered for nearly a year. During that time, PCC faced other challenges, including the closing of its store in downtown Seattle that had just opened two years prior.
CEO Krish Srinivasan, who had provided an update on the slow-moving collective bargaining process in mid-January, shared comments following this week’s agreement. "The ratified agreement is the most substantial in PCC’s four-decade history of collective bargaining with the union. This contract will make PCC store staff among the best paid grocery workers in the region, and our benefits package will continue to be among the strongest in the industry. Through this contract, we are also welcoming more staff involvement and voice in the co-op’s governance,” he said.
He continued, “We know the bargaining process stretched the emotions and patience of our staff and members. Simply finalizing this contract does not automatically solve the hard work that remains to be done, but it is absolutely the most important first step. We are at our best when we work together, and PCC is deeply committed to the success, impact, and future of our co-op.”
PCC operates 15 stores in the Puget Sound area, including the cities of Bellevue, Bothell, Burien, Edmonds, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond and Seattle. The Seattle stores are in the neighborhoods of Ballard, Central District, Columbia City, Downtown, Fremont, Green Lake, View Ridge and West Seattle. The co-op also plans to open a new store in Madison Valley.