Members of UFCW Local 400 who work at Kroger stores in Richmond, Va., ratified a new contract on August 25 and 26 that raises pay and protects benefits. The ballots were counted on Zoom so that all members could witness the vote count.
The three-year Richmond/Tidewater contract, which was ratified by an overwhelming margin, includes wage increases for new employees and for workers in other levels of employment for each year of the contract. Under the new contract, starting pay for full-time clerks will increase from $10 per hour to $12.35 per hour, and from $9.50 per hour to $12.35 per hour for part-timers. Associates higher up the pay scale will also see a significant boost in pay, with annual increases for workers above the pay scale.
UFCW Local 400 successfully beat back a proposed company health care plan that would have eliminated the union’s voice in health care decisions. The new contract protects the health and welfare fund and pensions for members and their families so that health care costs are affordable and members can plan for retirement.
The contract provides part- and full-time members with additional paid time off, including an increase in vacation time for members with seven years of service. The contract also includes an Educational Leave of Absence for employees attending an accredited college or specialized training so that members can take time off to obtain an education and return to their former positions.
“Thanks to the actions of our members, we were able to prevent a company health care plan that would have eliminated our voice in health care decisions,” said UFCW Local 400 President Mark Federici. “While we did not get everything we want, this was a significant victory in protecting our hard-won benefits.”