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Today we met with the Company and both sides exchanged proposals. We were expecting to receive proposals from the Company that lined up with the remarks they have made in all of our previous bargaining sessions. As you know, Kroger has been messaging and talking at the bargaining table about the need for operational flexibility within the contract. However, today what the Union received from the Company had extreme anti-union positions that have absolutely nothing to do with the Company’s operational flexibility, growing their sales and retaining employees. As you well know, the Union committee wants to spend our time talking about improving workers’ pay and health insurance and instead of tackling those issues, the Company wants to spend their time adding/removing language that has nothing to do with growing the Company’s sales.

The Company has Proposed To:
  • Have the right to open up non-union stores across the street from our union stores and current members not have the right to transfer to those stores because they are a non-union shop (Why would the Company want to do something like this?)
  • Eliminate the union’s orientation language which gives the Union the right to sign up new workers for the union and explain the benefits of having a union (This is just another step in their anti-union position)
  • Rewrite some of our discharge and discrimination language which protects workers from unjust disciplinary action (It seems as though the Company wants the right to do whatever they want in regard to disciplining you)
  • Take steps to significantly reduce our ratio of full-time and part-time workers in each store (How is that going to help retain and keep employees?)
  • Eliminate your daily overtime which is anytime worked over 8 hours (That’s something we all count on and is good for worker retention)
  • Give future part-time employees a significantly different benefit than the current part-time employees have today i.e. future part-time employees will get a max of 2 weeks of vacation under the Company’s proposal regardless of how many years they have been with the company (That’s definitely the wrong message for worker retention)
  • Merge the meat and clerk contracts (Which erodes our bargaining unit and blurs our different lines of work)
  • Automatically reduce full-time employees to part-time if they work less than 40 hours for 6 consecutive weeks (The company’s way of eliminating full-time positions)

The Company spent all of their time talking about wanting to be like their non-union competitors and now we see their ultimate goal seems to be non-union! What do these proposals have to do with growing the company’s sales? What type of message do these proposals send to their current and future employees?

Please tell your store manager today that not only will we not give up our Union and our voice, we will not give up worker protection language, healthcare benefits, or give the company the tools to operate non-union.

We will continue to keep you updated here, on our website, as well as the UFCW 455 app available in the app store.