Kroger Union Workers Avert Strike in Ohio

Associates vote to ratify new contract
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
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Union workers at Kroger stores throughout Central Ohio have ratified a new contract.

Kroger union workers in Central Ohio ratified a new contract late last week, averting a potential strike, according to local reports. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) Local 1059, which represents about 12,500 members across 82 stores, approved the contract by a vote of 3,546 to 3,193.

Kroger and the union were operating under a contract that expired Aug. 6, and union members weighed a possible strike after rejecting a tentative deal with the grocer on Sept. 16. Representatives again met with Kroger on Sept. 27 to resume negotiations on a new contract, with union leaders expressing satisfaction with the outcome.

"Throughout the entirety of this contentious and uncertain bargaining period, Local 1059 members have continued to make their voices heard and advocated tirelessly for the best contract possible for Kroger employees across the central Ohio region," said local UFCW President Randy Quickel in a statement. “This deal modernizes pay scales and guarantees wage increases to every member, while protecting benefits. The security of a union contract is vital for so many Local 1059 members and their families. Now that the members have voted to ratify, the contract will immediately go into effect."

According to Kroger, wage increases will vary from $1/hour for courtesy clerks and baggers, up to $2.65/hour for grocery, produce and deli/bakery department leaders and customer service coordinators, and a $4/hour starting wage increase for pharmacy technicians. Clerk starting wages will increase to $14.25/hour, which the grocer says will help to hire and retain talented associates to support its team.

"Congratulations to our Kroger Columbus Local 1059 area associates who have ratified the modifications to the collective bargaining agreement," the company said in a statement. "This is great news for everyone, including our community partners and customers."

Serving 60 million households annually nationwide through a digital shopping experience, and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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