As part of our commitment to keeping you informed about important developments, your union bargaining team, made up of your union and fellow coworkers, met with Kroger this week to resume negotiations on January 13th and 14th.
Key Negotiation Updates this Week:
- We made clear to Kroger your growing health and safety concerns. For two consecutive weeks, there have been over 90 COVID-19 cases in the Houston Division, but Kroger is still refusing to restore hazard pay or enforce customer mask mandates or better store capacity limits. Last week, there were 97 reported positive cases, up 3 cases from the week before.
- Kroger is willing and able to start giving pharmacy techs $1 an hour hazard pay, but still refuses to extend hazard pay to every worker. This is not good enough. We have made clear to Kroger that they must reinstate hazard pay for ALL essential Kroger grocery workers who are still putting themselves and their families at risk.
- We made clear that Kroger needs to explain why they are hiring “temporary workers.” Amazingly, Kroger claims not to be hiring more temp workers, yet there are signs still outside the stores. Instead of giving you more hours, they are giving hours to temp workers and paying them more because they don’t want to invest in your benefits. Again, we made clear that this is unacceptable and must be addressed.
- With respect to healthcare, what we unfortunately predicted is beginning to happen. Kroger workers are now starting to experience backdoor pay cuts because of the unlawful K Plan implementation. You did not agree to this change in your healthcare and it is taking money out of your pocket.
- Given the concerns you have raised, we made clear to Kroger that you deserve to know the impact of their so-called K Plan. Kroger is refusing to provide the number of workers who will lose insurance coverage this month because of the K Plan being implemented out-of-turn and without your consent. To address this,the UFCW has filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the federal government to get this information for you.
- At the table this week, we also proposed a better alternative to Kroger’s K Plan– a fund that keeps you in control and includes other Kroger union members across the region.
As we have made clear to Kroger, you are frontline workers who have made sacrifices and taken on risks to feed our community throughout this crisis, and they must do more and better by you and your co-workers. It’s that simple.
To help us emphasize your concerns to Kroger, your customers, and the community, we hope you will record a short video that makes clear the concerns you have, and why Kroger must change for the better.
Click here to record a 60-second video telling Kroger what it’s like to face the risks of COVID-19 as an essential worker without the pay and safety protections you need
Thank you again for everything you do. We are committed to keeping you informed every step of the way, and to fighting for the better and safer workplace you’ve earned and deserve.
UFCW Local 455 President
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