HELENA, Mont. — Democratic legislators joined union representatives at a Safeway parking lot here this week to urge Safeway and Albertsons to boost wages and other compensation for 1,200 workers at 17 Albertsons and 10 Safeways in Montana, according to published reports. Speaking on behalf of the legislators present and approximately 24 other state Democrats who wrote to the chains’ corporate offices, Bob Bergren, a state legislator, said fair compensation in the workplace is among the party’s core values, according to the reports. Despite negotiations that continued well past the previous contract’s expiration date last October, there is no talk of a strike, Nicolai Cocergine, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 4, based in Butte, Mont., reportedly said. “We’re trying to get the best deal we can for the workers at this time,” he explained. In other news, UFCW Locals 21, 44 and 81 in the Seattle area — representing 20,000 members at 200 units of Albertsons, Kroger and Safeway — voted to accept new three-year contracts by margins of 92% or better, union executives there told SN.
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