Michigan Kroger workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 951 have voted to approve a new three-year contract by a vote of 84 percent “yes” to 16 percent “no.”
“The proposal had the full recommendation of the bargaining committee as it preserved members’ health benefits and pension, and provided top-rate wage increases, which was a significant accomplishment given Michigan’s challenging economy and high unemployment rate,” Marv Russow, UFCW Local 951’s president, said. “The committee felt this was the best contract possible under these circumstances. By their overwhelming ratification of the contract, I would say the membership agreed.”
In November, Kroger members rejected the company’s first contract offer and authorized a strike. They had been working under a contract extension on the previous contract.
“The last month has been stressful for Kroger members as there was a great deal of uncertainty about the future,” Russow said. “With the ratification of the new contract, they will have peace of mind and security for the next three years. Hopefully, the economy will turn around by 2014 and we can enter contract bargaining under improved circumstances.”
The UFCW 951 Kroger contract covers approximately 1,000 workers at 11 stores in greater Lansing, Jackson and Mt. Pleasant.
Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., UFCW Local 951 represents more than 28,500 workers across Michigan in a variety of industries including retail food, food processing, nursing home and retail drug—employed at several companies including Meijer, Kroger, Rite Aid, Plumb’s, Polly’s, and Harding’s.