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Hood River Rosauers employees are seeking a new contract.

Union members represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 at Rosauers have been working to negotiate a new contract with their employer since October 2019. As negotiations have slowed, the union members have taken a strike authorization vote, although a strike has yet to be officially called. They are asking for better workplace protections, retirement, and increased wages.

Workers at the Hood River store have been greeting customers at its entrance, passing out fliers that explain the situation and encourage signing an online petition in support of staff.

“We, the workers at Rosauers, have stood up and continued to work when our community was advised to stay home,” reads the flier. “… We are willing to show up and serve our community every day, we just ask that we be given the proper safety guarantees, equipment and compensations for this increased risk to us and our families.”

Those who wish to sign the petition can visit www.ufcw555.org/NotDisposable.

“These essential employees are literally putting their lives on the line for their employer and communities; we need employers and communities to step up recognize that these workers are vital to the community, and not just during a global pandemic,” said Dan Clay, president of UFCW Local 555.

“Their employer has removed worker hazard pay and is refusing to secure the proper protection for them, despite reports of increased exposure,” said a press release.

“We are willing to show up and serve our community every day, we just ask that we be given the proper safety guarantees, equipment and compensation for this increased risk to us and our families. Rosauers must do the right thing and start treating essential workers like we are essential,” said Timber Trip, a worker at Rosauers.

Rosauers Corporate Office could not be reached for comment by presstime on Sept. 8; any updates to this story will be made to hoodrivernews.com.

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