(Aug. 22) Grocery workers at four of the Northwest’s largest retail chains have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year labor contract.

Union spokeswoman Jackie O’Ryan said Aug. 21 that the deal covers more than 20,000 workers at Safeway, Albertson’s, Fred Meyer and QFC stores. Voting was scheduled for Aug. 26 and Aug. 28.

Employees had been working under an extension since the original contract expired May 5. O’Ryan said wages and health care were the primary issues during negotiations with Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., which owns Fred Meyer and QFC; Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway Inc.; and Eden Prairie-based Supervalu Inc., which owns Albertsons.

Meanwhile, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 in St. Louis announced Aug. 17 that it had reached a tentative agreement on a new agreement with Schnucks, Shop ‘N Save and Dierbergs. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the contract would affect 9,500 workers if approved.