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UPDATE: Kroger employees vote in favor of new contract

Kroger
Kroger(AP)
Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 9:30 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP/WSAZ) - UPDATE: 11/21/20 11/21/20

Kroger employees involved with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 in West Virginia have voted ‘overwhelmingly’ in favor of a new labor agreement.

According to UFCW Local 400 Communications Director Jonathan Williams, members voted 701-208 in favor of a three-and-a-half year agreement that guarantees:

Raises, health care funding for the life of the contract, premiums for all department heads, no increase to prescription drug costs maximums, a new diabetes program to reduce drug costs, pushing back the start date of the new hours eligibility measurement period until after ratification, and making all raises retroactive to November 1, 2020.

Williams says this agreement was unanimously recommended by the Bargaining Advisory Committee.

In a press release from a Kroger spokesperson, the Mid-Atlantic division agreement with the UFCW Local 400 includes a more than $20 million wage investment and nearly $100 million investment that maintains exceptional health care benefits.

Paula Ginnett, president of the Kroger Mid-Atlantic division, released the following statement: “Kroger is pleased our associates have ratified the contract and recognized our continued investment in their success.”

“This contract provides wage increases for every associate while keeping associate weekly contributions for health care benefits the same through 2021. This is affirmation of our commitment to providing a competitive total benefits package for our associates. I appreciate our associates for supporting this agreement and for the excellent service they provide our customers every day.”

UPDATE: 11/21/20

After a tentative agreement was reached between union representatives and Kroger last week, union members have voted to move forward with their new contract.

A post on the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 website says union members voted 701-208 in favor of adopting a three-and-a-half year agreement which would “guarantee health care funding that experts say will fully fund our health care for the life of the contract,” among other benefits.

Union members were allowed to watch the vote be tallied over Zoom.

ORIGINAL STORY:

After union workers voted to strike last week over disagreements with Kroger involving a future health care plan, Kroger Mid-Atlantic and workers have reached a tentative agreement.

A spokesperson for The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 says Kroger has agreed to fully fund health care benefits. Union members will vote on the agreement next week.

“This would not have happened without the unity, solidarity and strength of our members. When Kroger threatened to put our health care at risk, we stood strong and proved we were willing to fight for what we deserve,” a statement posted to the union’s website said.

“Kroger Mid-Atlantic and UFCW Local 400 have reached a fully recommended tentative agreement for associates in our West Virginia stores. Given the unique circumstances everyone is experiencing in today’s world, the Kroger Mid-Atlantic and UFCW Local 400 bargaining committees worked virtually and diligently to create an agreement that provides our associates with a solid compensation package of wages and benefits. Focusing on solutions – together – was the key in reaching this agreement,” Kroger officials said in a statement released to WTAP.

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