Kroger Associates OK Michigan Contract
Kroger Co. associates in Michigan represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 951 voted to approve a new three-year salary and benefits contract.
“The proposal had the full recommendation of the bargaining committee as it preserved members’ health benefits and pension, and provided top rate wage increases, which was a significant accomplishment given Michigan's challenging economy and high unemployment rate,” said Marv Russow, UFCW Local 951's president. “The committee felt this was the best contract possible under these circumstances. By their overwhelming ratification of the contract, I would say the membership agreed.”
In November, Kroger members rejected the company’s first contract offer and authorized a strike. They had been working under a contract extension on the previous contract. Union members accepted the new contract with 84 percent voting yes.
“The last month has been stressful for Kroger members as there was a great deal of uncertainty about the future,” Russow said. “With the ratification of the new contract, they will have peace of mind and security for the next three years. Hopefully, the economy will turn around by 2014 and we can enter contract bargaining under improved circumstances.”
UFCW Local 951 represents about 1,000 workers at 11 Kroger stores in greater Lansing, Jackson and Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based UFCW Local 951 represents more than 28,500 workers across Michigan in a variety of industries including retail food, food processing, nursing home, and retail drug, employed at several companies including Meijer, Kroger, Rite Aid, Plumb’s, Polly’s and Harding’s.