Union: region’s Kroger workers ratify three-year contract

Kroger LogoThe union representing thousands of Kroger workers in the region says members have ratified a three-year contract. They are about 4,800 members of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400 at Kroger stores from Charlottesville to eastern Tennessee. The union says the three-year agreement includes wage increases and maintains health and retirement benefits. The contract replaces one which expired last March. Workers had remained on the job since then under a contract extension.  We have no official word from Kroger, but the Lynchburg News and Advance cites a company release confirming the union announcement.

(Continue reading for the full UFCW news release.)

UFCW Local 400 Members Working at Kroger
Successfully Ratify Three-Year Agreement

New Contract Raises Living Standards, Maintains Benefits
For 4,800 Workers in Roanoke Area

ROANOKE, Va., August 30 – Members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 working at Kroger in the Roanoke area successfully ratified a new, three-year collective bargaining agreement that raises their living standards and maintains their health and retirement benefits.

“This agreement is as good as any in the country,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “Despite the damaging impact of the Affordable Care Act on the joint labor-management Taft-Hartley Funds providing health care to our members, we were able to maintain current benefits. And despite the still-struggling economy, we were able to negotiate actual raises and bonuses. Our members deserve all the credit for this strong contract, because their solidarity and activism is what made everything possible.”

The bargaining was challenging and protracted, largely because Obama administration regulations covering implementation of the Affordable Care Act deny Taft-Hartley Funds any of the benefits of the new law while imposing major new burdens. As a result, the previous contract, which expired on March 31, 2013, was extended for five months, though many other negotiations in the grocery industry have required extensions lasting a year or longer.

Highlights of the new agreement include:

     Increases in total compensation of nearly $2/hour over the life of the contract including wages and employer contributions to the health and retirement funds, plus bonuses.

     Maintenance of health and retirement benefits for current employees.

     Expansion of job classifications that increase the number of lead positions, creating new paths for career advancement and increases in earnings.

     Defeat of numerous management proposals for worker concessions.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that our Kroger Roanoke members will be able to work for the next three years under an industry-leading collective bargaining agreement that empowers them to continue improving their lives,” Federici said.

UFCW Local 400 represents 35,000 workers in the retail food, retail, health care, manufacturing and other sectors in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    CONTACT: Mark P. Federici
August 30, 2013                                        301-332-6628

UFCW Local 400 Members Working at Kroger
Successfully Ratify Three-Year Agreement

New Contract Raises Living Standards, Maintains Benefits
For 4,800 Workers in Roanoke Area

ROANOKE, Va., August 30 – Members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 working at Kroger in the Roanoke area successfully ratified a new, three-year collective bargaining agreement that raises their living standards and maintains their health and retirement benefits.

“This agreement is as good as any in the country,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “Despite the damaging impact of the Affordable Care Act on the joint labor-management Taft-Hartley Funds providing health care to our members, we were able to maintain current benefits. And despite the still-struggling economy, we were able to negotiate actual raises and bonuses. Our members deserve all the credit for this strong contract, because their solidarity and activism is what made everything possible.”

The bargaining was challenging and protracted, largely because Obama administration regulations covering implementation of the Affordable Care Act deny Taft-Hartley Funds any of the benefits of the new law while imposing major new burdens. As a result, the previous contract, which expired on March 31, 2013, was extended for five months, though many other negotiations in the grocery industry have required extensions lasting a year or longer.

Highlights of the new agreement include:

     Increases in total compensation of nearly $2/hour over the life of the contract including wages and employer contributions to the health and retirement funds, plus bonuses.

     Maintenance of health and retirement benefits for current employees.

     Expansion of job classifications that increase the number of lead positions, creating new paths for career advancement and increases in earnings.

     Defeat of numerous management proposals for worker concessions.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that our Kroger Roanoke members will be able to work for the next three years under an industry-leading collective bargaining agreement that empowers them to continue improving their lives,” Federici said.

UFCW Local 400 represents 35,000 workers in the retail food, retail, health care, manufacturing and other sectors in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

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