UFCW Local 75 and Kroger met again this week to continue Cincinnati Kroger negotiations. Over the past months, we’ve continued to bargain the Cincinnati Agreement. We’ve also been exploring the possibility of merging the Cincinnati and Dayton agreements in their entirety, and examining the potential to create a health care plan for Kroger workers in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo.
The Company presented a comprehensive proposal that reflects a Cincinnati-only agreement, but they have indicated that they are open to a merged agreement; we are consulting with our plan professionals to determine the cost of this proposal. The parties have been exchanging proposals, but the primary difference between this proposal exchange and previous exchanges is that earlier proposals were specific to one issue. The proposal is not a last, best, or final offer, and we will present a counter proposal to this item.
You make Kroger a leader in the grocery industry, and a leader in the Cincinnati market. The Company emphasizes that its greatest asset is the people who stock the shelves, ring the registers, and take care of customers every day. Because of you, Kroger has some of its highest national market share right here in Cincinnati.
We want to make sure that any changes to your contract are manageable. But, although Kroger is a market leader, we do not get a blank check for bargaining. Over the years, members of UFCW have made many difficult choices in order to preserve some of the best benefits in our industry, even with the changing nature of health care coverage. We recognize that we will need to make important changes and hard choices when it comes to a new agreement, but we are committed to reaching an agreement with access to affordable, quality health care and a wage package that reflects Kroger’s strong market position in our area.
For more information, please contact your Union Representative.
Our next bargaining session is scheduled for February 26. Note: The Cincinnati Kroger Agreement was extended until March 1, 2014 OR day to day thereafter, as is customary in many extension agreements.