Kroger

RSS

UFCW Local 400 Kroger Members Working at Kroger Ratify A New Contract

kroger for blogMembers of UFCW Local 400 voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new, four-year contract with Kroger in the Richmond and Tidewater areas of Virginia. The contract preserves their health and retirement security and increases their wages. The collective bargaining agreement is retroactive to August 3, 2014. It expires on August 4, 2018, and covers 3,500 workers.

The bargaining was difficult and lengthy, but after a sustained campaign of member activism, both on a regional and national level, UFCW Local 400 members were able to win a strong contract. Notably, this contract implements raises based on seniority, abolishing the old system that left raises up to the discretion of store managers. It also includes health care “Maintenance of Benefits,” meaning that Kroger will contribute whatever is necessary to the health care fund to pay all benefits.

“It is the activism of our members, and the solidarity shown throughout the country, that enabled us to achieve these gains,” Federici said. “Their dedication, strength, and willingness to turn up the heat on Kroger at the store level when it was necessary, is the reason why we have this solid contract today—a contract that they not only deserve, but rightfully earned.”

Locally, Kroger members and their allies in the community leafleted stores, gathering thousands of shoppers’ pledges to stand with them through contract negotiations. They also rallied their coworkers at Kroger stores nationwide to wear buttons reading, “Solidarity with Virginia Kroger Workers,” on their aprons and shirts while at work to not only show management they were standing together in the fight for a fair contract, but also showing support for workers at the new Kroger Marketplace stores in Richmond and Virginia Beach.

The fight for fairness and respect at the Marketplace stores is just beginning. Kroger’s new Marketplace stores sell not just groceries but clothing and jewelry. In these new stores, Kroger is not giving employees the opportunity to have a voice at work free from intimidation and coercion. Instead, they are promising higher wages in exchange for a signature on a piece of paper saying they won’t join the union. UFCW Local 400 leadership, Kroger members, and community activists hand delivered a letter the Richmond Marketplace store manager in May demanding an end to these anti-worker tactics.

“It was a long challenging ride to reach this good contract we ratified today,” said Peggy Billie, a Bargaining Committee member who works at Kroger #500 in Richmond. “And we aren’t done. We are going to keep the pressure up on Kroger until our fellow workers at the Marketplace stores have the same rights and protections on the job as we do in other stores in the region and across the country.”

“From what we started with, when the company proposed taking away part-time and spousal health care, we’ve come a long way and on top of that we got some extra money in our pockets,” said Joseph Vaughn, a Bargaining Committee Member who works at Kroger #537 in Virginia Beach. “We have demonstrated that by standing together we are strong!”

“It took us working past the original expiration date, but I’m proud of my coworkers, fellow bargaining committee members, and the leadership of our union, we fought hard and are proud of the agreement we have reached,” said Michael Holcomb, a committee member from Kroger #511 in Richmond.

“Management wanted to take everything away from us,” said Laverne Wrenn, a member of the Bargaining Advisory Committee who works at Kroger #538. “But we showed the company we are strong. We told them we are ready to fight. And that is what made the difference.”

“This contract will enable Kroger to maintain their dominance as the number one grocery retailer, while doing right by the workers whose productivity and customer service have lifted them to the top,” Federici said. “We look forward to implementing it and helping these chains expand their market share.”

It’s Officially Fall! Jump on the Pumpkin-Flavored Bandwagon with Union-Made products!

Although grocery stores have been trying to convince us it’s been fall for weeks now, today marks the official start of fall, or the Autumnal Equinox.

You may have noticed that there’s been a craze for Pumpkin Spice this, and pumpkin-flavored that in stores everywhere–with new pumpkin and fall-flavored or scented products popping up left and right.

Why not embrace the trend by finding union-made stuff? Below, we’ve provided a fun fall list of ideas to help satisfy your pumpkin product cravings:

 

-Stop in you local Safeway and purchase a Pumpkin Spice Latte from the UFCW Safeway Starbucks baristas! Safeway-Starbucks-2

 

-Pick up some union made beer, like Mendocino Pumpkin Ale or Michelob Pumpkin Spice Ale

michelob_jacks_pumpkin_spice_ale_six_pack_decal__73962

 

 

-Indulge in some seasonal union-made chocolate, like Ghirardelli Pumpkin Spice Caramel Squares, or Hershey’s Candy Corn or Pumpkin Spice kisses

1026_600

 

 

-Use Food Club canned pumpkin (UFCW product) or buy Kroger brand pumpkin puree from PB010413 UFCW members at Kroger for all your fall baking needs!

 

-Relax with some UFCW-made Gonesh Fragrances incense sticks in seasonal scents, like “Spirit of Autumn” or “Halloween” halloween

 

-Bake a union-made pumpkin recipe, like Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake!

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages of Horizon or President Choice cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup of Domino Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Kroger or other union lable vanilla extract
  • 2 union-label eggs, like Horizon
  • 9 in. prepared graham cracker crust from union-label grocery store
  • 1/2 cup Kroger brand pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup Giant brand or other union-label frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

1) In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.

2) Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.

3) Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.

 

UFCW Local 75 Members in Ohio Approve New Kroger Contract

L75-Kroger-Contract1-300x225UFCW Local 75 members in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, Kroger stores have voted to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement. The new contract merges the formerly separate Cincinnati and Dayton contracts.

Through the hard work of the members of the Cincinnati and Dayton Bargaining Committee, and by sticking together through the negotiations process, members were able to reach an agreement that guarantees annual wage increases; protects quality, affordable health care; strengthens contract language; and preserves full-time jobs.

The new contract:

  • Creates more bargaining power and work opportunities for members. By merging the Cincinnati and Dayton contracts into one agreement, members have more opportunity for promotion and transfer, and one set of work rules for all stores in the area. The merged agreement protects and provides full-time jobs over the life of the agreement, in an increasingly part-time industry.
  • Secures affordable, quality health care. Members have more options for health care and may take advantage of lower weekly contributions by completing biometric screenings. Spousal coverage is maintained through the spouse’s employer provided, ACA qualified benefits; other spouses continue to have coverage through the union contract. Part-time members retain access to health care benefits.
  • Provides wage increases and wage parity. The contract provides guaranteed wage increases each year over term; increase amounts vary depending on classification. There will also be wage parity between Cincinnati and Dayton by the end of the agreement. The bracket progressions have been reduced so members can get raises more quickly, and have been adjusted to reflect an increasing minimum wage.
  • Guarantees pension benefits. Members of UFCW Local 75 are part of the UFCW Consolidated Pension Fund, ratified in 2011. Pension benefits are guaranteed for ten years, until 2021.