Facts Over Antics

Get the Facts

November 11th, 2021

Why Does Local 455 Keep Up These Charades?

UFCW Local 455 is again holding a vote for strike authorization, and again, you have been subjected to uncertainty and unneeded stress. Why is Local 455 going through these antics again?

Local and international business agents have been in our stores for weeks in preparation for this strike authorization vote. We have respectfully asked the union not to disrupt our business operations or disturb our customers during its voting process. Why does the Union continue to call these votes?  They disrupt your workdays and your family’s lives, and for what?  Union Dues?

Your Union Dues

In the most recent union communication, Local 455 claimed that Kroger is undermining your rights to union membership by not collecting union dues.

FACT: In December 2020, we notified UFCW 455 that we would no longer be collecting union dues, initiation fees, or other union-related deductions from your paychecks. This was done in accordance with applicable law given the expired contracts. The union is free to collect such fees and dues from its members through other means.

FACT: These are not our union dues. It’s your money. Keep this in mind: The union does not pay your wages. They do not provide your health care. They did not allow you to vote to ratify our Last, Best, And Final Offer for over a year after it was proposed. And now they want to discuss your union dues after they called another strike vote? This makes no sense.

Your Wages and Health Care

Local 455 says Kroger forced associates into low-wage tiers and to pay for more expensive health care.

FACT: All associates have received multiple wage increases over the last year since we implemented our Last, Best, and Final Offer and will continue to receive wage increases. We have rewarded and recognized associates throughout the pandemic. The Kroger Family of Companies has invested over $1.5 billion to safeguard and reward our associates, including six separate rewards averaging $1,630 for full-time associates and $1,070 for part-time associates. The company also has committed nearly $1 billion to secure pensions for tens of thousands of our associates across the country, including Houston Meat associates.

FACT: Kroger has made a $56 million investment in wage increases and $75 million in annual spending on secure, affordable health care benefits for Houston associates. In 2022, Kroger Houston associates will pay just $36 for individual coverage or $184 for family coverage each month in a company-administered plan. By comparison, the national average for individual coverage is $108, and family coverage is $497 per month, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization focusing on national health issues and health policy.  You are now relying on secure, stable, and affordable health care.

Your Rights

We have heard from associates that the union is recording them participating in the strike vote authorization process. You have the right to participate or not participate in the voting process without fear and intimidation.

First and foremost, the union cannot threaten your job, health care coverage, or pension benefits.

  • You have the right to decide whether or not to participate in any type of union activity without threats from the union or company. The decision is yours and yours alone to make.
  • Kroger provides your health care and pension benefits. Your union dues do not pay for these benefits.

If you are unsure what to do, talk to someone you are comfortable with and who can lend you support.

Questions regarding your rights under federal labor law may be directed to the NLRB at www.nlrb.gov or 1-844-762-6572. You can contact the Houston regional office at 281-228-5600. The NLRB is a neutral government agency responsible for the administration and enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act.

Learn more about our Last, Best, and Final Offer here for clerks. Review Last, Best, and Final offer for meat clerks here. 

If you have questions, please ask your store leader, or you can email askhouston@kroger.com

 

 

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