Kroger and UFCW Reach Agreement

Discussion
Dec 10, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Kroger and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract for 3,300 store employees in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.


The deal announced yesterday must be ratified by a vote of the union’s rank and file.


In Southern California, talks between the UFCW and Albertson’s, Kroger and Safeway are still deadlocked. Some hope has arisen, as expressed in an article in the LA Daily News, that the chains and the union may now be able to reach a deal similar to that in West Virginia.


The dispute between the parties in the West Virginia negotiation centered around health care premiums and what amount employees would contribute. Before the lockout/strike in California, premiums were paid entirely by the employer.


Moderator’s Comment: Does the deal in West Virginia mean there is a resolution in sight in the California negotiations?


If the dispute was simply between Kroger and the UFCW, we’d be optimistic that lockout/strike in Southern California would end sooner rather than later.
That is not the case, however, as the three chains have agreed to a revenue sharing scheme for the duration of the lockout/strike.


The UFCW has pulled its pickets from Kroger-owned Ralph’s in Southern California. If the reports are correct we’ve been getting, most of those are now outside
a Von’s or Pavilions store (owned by Safeway).
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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