Dear UFCW Local 455 Kroger Member,
UFCW Local 455 and the Kroger company bargained and reached a mutually agreeable Tentative Agreement (TA) on 12/18/21. The company then drafted the agreement and sent it to the Union for review and signature. After your Union and the Kroger company reviewed the TA; and, both submitted drafting errors, these drafting errors were corrected and Your Union Bargaining Committee, made up of rank and file members, reviewed it and recommended it to present to the full membership for a ratification, and the Union signed the TA.
However, the company refused to sign. The company now wants us to withdraw all current NLRB unfair labor practice charges, based on conduct committed by Kroger during the bargaining process over the last 2 years, in order for them to sign the agreement. Your Union does not agree with that because one of the charges involves the company’s refusal to pay employee dues to the Union. When the Union is successful in recovering this money from Kroger, the Local plans to give all missed union dues back to the Kroger Union membership. Predicating a settlement of a contract on withdrawal of NLRB charges is against the law! The company is now holding up your money and your contract as part of their bad faith bargaining conduct!
Remember, in December 2020, Kroger illegally attempted to undermine your democratic rights to be part of a union and stopped collecting union membership fees. Despite Kroger’s actions, we never stopped servicing you or your stores because we believe that joining a union is your choice and right.
In response, the National Labor Relations Board – a federal board designed to ensure corporations, like Kroger, do not undermine your rights -issued Complaints against Kroger and is seeking a remedy for Kroger to pay the Local these membership fees with interest. The Board is also seeking a ruling that would require Kroger to resume deducting membership fees from your paycheck just as it has always done. The NLRB Regional Director for Region 16 has also decided to issue other Complaints against Kroger for coercing employees into dropping their Union membership; failing to timely give the Union information for bargaining; and, unlawfully blocking computer access to the Health & Welfare enrollment portal, among other things.
As a result of the company’s continued bad faith bargaining, we are filing two more ULP charges for refusal to sign the TA and for conditioning signing the TA upon Union agreement on non-mandatory bargaining subjects. Stay Tuned For Next Steps!
Make sure you and your fellow members are signed up for blast text alerts by texting ‘KrogerHOU’ to 83071.
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As always, we will continue to keep you informed and if you have questions, please reach out to your union representative, or call us at (281) 448-5555.
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