Members of United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 voted overwhelmingly on Monday to ratify a new, three-year collective bargaining agreement with Kroger in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky that preserves their health and retirement security and increases wages. The deal covers 4,000 workers.
“This contract is an improvement,” said Local 400 President Mark Federici. “Our members will keep their current health care benefits, with no increase in weekly premiums. Kroger will pay their share of benefits in full through the life of the contract, our members’ pensions will be properly funded, and our members will all see pay increases.” Federici credited “the activism of our members, and the support they have from their customers and the community” for the gains...
During negotiations, the union’s Bargaining Advisory Committee visited all of the Kroger stores in the region represented by Local 400 to call on their fellow members to take action by signing pledge cards that they “demand a fair contract” to turn in to store management, wearing their gold union shop buttons, as well as their camouflage UFCW Local 400 hats while at work.
“We showed Kroger that we are united—every union button, hat, and pledge card signed was another wave of solidarity sent right to the bargaining table giving our union leadership leverage,” said Tami Faulknier, Bargaining Advisory Committee member from Kroger #768 in Dunbar, WV “By us standing together and taking action in our stores we earned the quality contract we have today!”
“From what we started with, when the company proposed changes to our health care that even they called drastic, we’ve come a long way and on top of that we got some extra money in our pockets!,” said Kendall Moore, a Bargaining Committee Member who works at Kroger #754 in Marmet, WV.
“Management wanted to take everything away from us,” said Theresa Haney, a member of the Bargaining Advisory Committee who works at Kroger #796 in Ashland, KY. “But we showed Kroger we are strong, that we were willing to do whatever it took to get a fair deal at the table, and it is great knowing that we earned this contract together, as a membership.”
photos courtesy UFCW Local 400