As part of our commitment to keep you informed about important developments, your union bargaining team, made up of your union and fellow coworkers, met last week with Kroger on 11/30, 12/1, & 12/3 to resume negotiations.
We presented to the company a detailed proposal that would maintain employee-controlled healthcare by merging your South Central Fund with other employee-controlled union healthcare funds for the life of your new contract. This would protect the quality of your healthcare and ensure that you keep control over your costs and coverage.
With respect to healthcare, our discussions with Kroger covered areas vital to keeping healthcare affordable for all, like reserves, eligibility, employee contribution rates, enrollment, and adjustments in benefit plan designs. We even provided financial information showing how this merger will work with equivalent company funding as compared to Kroger’s “K Plan” – where Kroger has all the control to decide your costs and benefits, while contributing nothing to your healthcare fund.
But instead of looking into real solutions, Kroger continues to force their Worst and Final Offer, an action which your union is challenging with the National Labor Relations Board, and refuses to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement or propose real solutions to the many other outstanding items in your contract.
In addition, Kroger continues to refuse to reinstate hazard pay even as they now threaten your healthcare and benefits.
To be clear, what Kroger is forcing onto workers can only be described as a “Worst and Final Offer,” and here are the facts you should know:
Impact Series: Changes Kroger is Proposing that Hurts Kroger Workers
- Kroger is eliminating progressionary increases and replacing it with levels that freeze your wages
- Merging Fuel Clerks into wage levels instead of part-time and full-time progression scales
- Reduction in store full-time ratio in volumes 1 & 2
- Reduction in daily over-time
- Clerk and Meat workers working in each other’s respective departments
- Reduction in new hires part-time vacation weeks
- Weakening the grievance procedure by allowing the District Manager to appoint a division designee
- Refuses to clarify formula for previous experience credit restrictions
- Only allowing select leads to get an increased premium while others do not
- Eliminating assistant department head volume-based premiums and offering minuscule increases
- Eliminating Floral lead volume-based premiums and offering minuscule increases
- Eliminating jurisdiction letters of agreement
As your bargaining committee has made clear to Kroger, you work hard, and you deserve better than Kroger’s Worst and Final Offer.
Make no mistake, your hard work has made the Kroger Company billions in profits, and it’s time for Kroger to acknowledge and reward your hard work and sacrifices. That is why we are continuing to negotiate to reach a full agreement on your entire contract honoring your hard work.
To help your bargaining team and to send Kroger a message, here’s what we need you to do:
- Text ‘KROGERHOU’ to 83071 to sign up for text alerts and encourage your coworkers to sign up too.
- Tag Kroger on Facebook (@Kroger) and Twitter (@Kroger) and ask the company why they are threatening your healthcare and refusing to restore essential hazard pay during a pandemic where they have made record profits.
- Engage your customers by letting them know what Kroger is doing and asking them to sign up for store alerts by texting ‘KrogerAlerts’ to 23396.
- Tell your Store Manager today that Kroger does not speak for you – that we stand united, union strong, and that your voice will remain loud and clear in your healthcare and your contract.
- Make sure you and your coworkers are enrolled in South Central Union Healthcare for 2021, by visiting www.bams.bz or the Quick Links Menu on the Store Computers. Also, get with a Member of Management to enroll into the “K-Plan” just to make sure you are covered and protected no matter what happens.
- Make your voice heard, and fill out our member survey if you haven’t already.
Standing together, we can send Kroger a clear message that your life, your hard work, and your Union matters!