Members of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Local 593 went on strike against Washington, DC area Giant Food stores October 23, 1973 after contract negotiations broke down. Their contract had expired in September.
The grocery chains retaliated by locking out union meatcutters at five other chains (Safeway, Grand Union, A&P, Acme and Pantry Pride (Food Fair).
In a betrayal that would reverberate in the years to come, the International office of the Retail Clerks and the Teamsters refused to give permission to honor the Meat cutters picket lines despite the vote by the locals. Teamsters International President Frank Fitzsimmons stated he would not support any AFL-CIO union as long as the AFL-CIO supported the Farmworkers boycott.
In the face of this lack of support, the Meat Cutters voted 695-475 to support a contract that few would have favored before the strike.
The Meat cutters have since merged with the Retail Clerks to form the United Food & Commercial Workers Union. The Giant Food on Columbia Road has been closed and the chain is now operated by Royal Ahold.