CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kroger workers in 40 West Virginia stores have ratified a new three-and-a-half year contract, the company and union announced Saturday.
“The agreement was unanimously recommended by the Bargaining Advisory Committee and members voted 701-208 in favor of adopting the contract,” United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400 said in a statement on its website. “Ballots were tallied over Zoom video conference to allow members to witness the count.”
The contract agreement was reached a week ago averting a possible strike by more than 4,000 workers in stores stretching from the Northern Panhandle to the Southern Coalfields.
“Kroger is pleased our associates have ratified the contract and recognized our continued investment in their success,” Paula Ginnett, president of the Kroger Mid-Atlantic division said in a statement. “This contract provides wage increases for every associate while keeping associate weekly contributions for health care benefits the same through 2021. This is affirmation of our commitment to providing a competitive total benefits package for our associates. I appreciate our associates for supporting this agreement and for the excellent service they provide our customers every day.”
The main sticking point that caused the rejection of an initial offer earlier this month was health care.
The union claimed victory Saturday while also saying no contract is perfect. It listed the following details of the deal:
- Health care funding that experts say will fully fund our health care for the life of the contract
- Real raises for EVERYONE
- Premiums for ALL department heads
- No increase to prescription drug costs maximums + a new diabetes program to reduce drug costs
- New hours eligibility measurement period doesn’t start until after ratification
- All raises retroactive to November 1, 2020