Voting on Kroger union contract starts Thursday

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kroger employees on Thursday will begin voting on a tentative agreement between union workers and the corporation.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400 and Kroger reached an agreement last week to avert a possible strike. The proposed deal includes funding for health care benefits, raises for employees, premiums for all department heads, and no increase in prescription drug costs maximums. The raises would be retroactive to Nov. 1.

The agreement affects around 4,200 Kroger employees who work at 40 locations from Wheeling to Bluefield.

Jonathan Williams, the union’s communications director, said negotiations hinged on Kroger’s handling of health care benefits, with members stressing the coronavirus during discussions. Union members previously rejected an offer that included modest increases starting in January 2022.

“Our members stood strong and made it clear to the company that they would not accept health care cuts in the middle of a pandemic,” he said. “The tentative agreement that we will be voting on this week does not reflect any cuts to health care funding as a result of our members’ activism.”

Voting will take place Thursday and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Four locations will have voting on Thursday.

— 80 Skyline Plaza Drive, Buckhannon, WV 26201
— 2007 E. 7th St, Parkersburg, WV 26101
— 6306 State Rd. 107, Proctorville, OH 45669
— 3265 Smoot Ave., Madison, WV 25130

The following stores will have voting on Friday:

— 5717 MacCorkle Ave. SE, Charleston, WV 25304
— 198 Emily Drive, Clarksburg, WV 26301
— 302 Great Teays Blvd., Scott Depot, WV 25560
— 133 Beckley Crossing Shopping Center, Beckley, WV 25801

A vote count will take place Saturday starting at 11 a.m. Williams said the union will announce the results shortly after the count concludes.

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