Get the Facts: What is Local 455 Up To?

Lake Charles

March 28th, 2022

The company has recently learned that UFCW Local 455 plans to hold a vote next week on the Last, Best, and Final Offers we proposed for our Lake Charles, Sulphur, and Alexandria clerks in September 2021!

  • It’s unfortunate that the union didn’t allow you to vote last year when we presented the Last, Best, and Final Offers for our meat and retail clerks. What has changed? Why are they holding a vote now, six months later?
  • They are also asking you to vote on strike authorization. Why are they holding a strike authorization vote now? What has changed?

Since the union determines whether you vote and when, we encourage you to take this opportunity and let your voice be heard. We have heard that you are frustrated and just want this process to be over with and to have a new agreement in place. We want that too! Now is your opportunity to vote and approve the company’s Last, Best, and Final Offers.

Consider the following:

FACT: All associates have received wage increases since we implemented our Last, Best, and Final Offers in October 2021.  Associates received up to $2.60 more per hour at implementation, and some premiums increased up to $1.50 per hour, depending on role and classification. Wages also increased for those in progressions by $.50 on Feb. 6. An additional wage increase for all associates is scheduled for August 7, 2022.

FACT: Local 455 has provided no meaningful proposals to break the impasse on health care. The union provided several health care ideas on Sept. 8, 2021, without a complete comprehensive proposal. They have not provided any follow-up proposals and continue to hold up your agreement over health care.

FACT: Little Rock associates recently ratified a new contract that includes a company-administered health care plan, agreeing to no longer be tied to the South-Central Fund. Last fall, Dallas meat clerks also voted to leave the South-Central Fund. Why does Local 455 continue to remain at an impasse on health care when others are leaving the South-Central Fund?

FACT: Lake Charles, Sulphur, and Alexandria associates enrolled in the company-administered plan effective January 1, 2022, and are currently enjoying excellent benefits that are reliable and affordable.

Last Best and Final Offer for Retail Clerks

Last Best and Final Offer for Meat Clerks

Why does Local 455 also intend to hold a strike authorization vote along with the LBFO vote?

FACT: A strike threat is wrong.  With the implementation of the LBFOs, you have received and will continue to receive pay increases. You have stable and affordable health care through a company-administered plan and can count on a more secure pension for your retirement. But, despite all of this, Local 455 is now asking you to vote for a strike that could potentially disrupt your lives!

WHY?

We believe this is all a game of politics and a misguided attempt to show the value they bring to you. Consider this: According to the most recent Labor Organization Annual Report (referred to as a Form LM-2) which Local 455 is required to submit to the U.S. Department of Labor each year, Brandon Hopkins’s 2021 salary was over $321,000, a 23% increase or $60,000 more than his approximate $261,000 salary in 2020. Additionally, former UFCW Local 455 President Bill Hopkins – Brandon’s Dad – is still being paid a more than $101,000 salary even though he retired from the union in early 2020!

Where does the money for their salaries come from? You, of course! That’s where some of your union dues go. Consider what the union has done for you in the last year to deserve salaries like these.

Ask yourself: Would you and the other associates be better off if a strike authorization vote is taken, a strike is called by the union, and you potentially don’t receive a paycheck from the company?

Ask the union: Would Brandon and Bill Hopkins still collect their six-figure paychecks if you went out on strike? What would your strike pay be if they decided to call for a strike?

As the union is giving you an opportunity to vote on our LBFOs, we hope you take the time to consider and review our offer before the upcoming vote and then vote “YES” on our offer and “NO” to strike authorization.

Learn more about our Last, Best, and Final Offers by visiting this link for retail clerks and this link for meat clerks.  If you have questions, please ask your store leader or you can email askhouston@kroger.com

Back to Homepage