May 29, 2016
By Doug Cunningham
Workers Independent News
West Virginia, VA – After 1100 members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 voted to authorize a strike at 41 Kroger Grocery Stores in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee, the union has reached a tentative contract deal with the company.
The union says it’s a much better deal than the company’s previous “last best and final offer,” where the highest raise that anyone at these stores would ever see would be 25 cents. Local 400 Communications Manager Jonathan Williams:
[Jonathan Williams]: “The same week that we had this offer, the company gave its millionaire CEO a 17 percent raise. The company made 2 and a half billion dollars last year alone, but our associates, who actually keep the stores running, who actually make the company a billion-dollar success, they get a quarter. And that was enough to upset a huge number of our members. They unanimously voted to authorize a strike after unanimously voting to reject the 25 cent raise. They were entirely unified against it. It sent a very loud and clear message to Kroger that this company can more than afford it, and we’re willing to stand up and fight for it. Shortly after…I mean very shortly after this vote was taken, we were getting calls from the company to re-open negotiations.” To hear the audio click the following link