Your Union met last week with Kroger on 10/15 & 10/16, to resume negotiations.
We presented to the company a detailed proposal that would maintain employee-controlled healthcare by merging your South Central Fund with another employee-controlled healthcare fund— UFCW Local 1529-Kroger (Memphis Fund)— for the life of the new contract.
Your union’s healthcare proposal will:
- Maintain your voice when it comes to healthcare coverage and costs.
- Allow you to continue receiving healthcare that will be administered by a fund that has a joint board of your union and the company.
- Make sure that Kroger continues to contribute to the costs of your healthcare.
Our discussions with Kroger also covered items like reserves, eligibility, employee contribution rates, enrollment, and adjustments in benefit plan designs and we provided financial information showing how this merger will work with equivalent company funding as compared to the K Plan – where Kroger has all of the control.
As the company continues to push their company-controlled K-Plan, we found some alarming facts about their medical network provider including that it recently agreed to a multi-million-dollar settlement after a cyberattack exposed the personal information, including names, birthdates, social security numbers, and medical IDs, of nearly 79 million people, and that it has had to pay millions of dollars to settle other possible privacy violations in the past.
Under a company-controlled plan like Kroger’s K Plan, you will have no say in who your medical network provider is.
- Negotiations have not concluded.
- Until you vote to approve a new contract or the company’s proposed “K-Plan,” the status quo should remain and your healthcare is the same.
- UFCW Local 455 South Central participants in Louisiana, UFCW Local 2008 (Little Rock, AR), and Local 540 (Dallas, TX) are ALL continuing to enroll in the South Central Fund.
- You should be enrolling in South Central today for 2021.
Your South Central Fund is still open for business, as a working fund with money going into it.
You will be receiving open enrollment information from South Central and from Kroger and you should not discard anything. We believe that you should have all the information you need to make an informed decision about your healthcare.
In the meantime:
We URGE all participants to enroll in your employee-controlled South Central plan during the open enrollment window
from October 15 – December 15 at
Unfortunately, Kroger has illegally blocked your access to the enrollment portal on company computers, so you have to use a personal or public computer or cell phone or call 1-800-874-8499 for a paper enrollment form.
Ways You Can Protect your Benefits, Your Healthcare, and Your Voice:
- Enroll in your South Central Healthcare Fund and help other workers enroll into your existing employee-controlled fund.
- Call the Kroger company headquarters: 1-877-373-3397 and tell Kroger you are interested in keeping your voice in your healthcare.
- Sign up for negotiation updates to stay informed on wage increases, vacation and paid time off, healthcare, and other open contract items by texting ‘KrogerHOU’ to 83071
- Sign the member petition for a fair contract that is currently being passed around the stores.
- Join the Street Action Committee and turn out to our store actions at ufcw455.org
We will continue to build our movement and we will keep you all informed with bargaining updates.