We know it’s a big weekend as we gear up for Labor Day on Monday. Thank you for your continued commitment to serve our customers and communities.
We wanted to share a negotiations update with you. As you know, on August 19th we provided the union with a Last Best, and Final Offer, which included a ratification bonus for department heads and top-rate associates if the offer was ratified by September 4, 2020.
Unfortunately, the union did not allow you to vote on the offer and the deadline to receive the ratification bonus has passed. However, all of the other items in our Last, Best and Final Offer remain on the table.
Let’s be clear: health care remains deadlocked. We aren’t sure why the union did not offer you the opportunity to break that deadlock and vote. Instead, the union insists on keeping your health care tied to an unstable, health and welfare trust fund that has experienced financial issues off and on over the years. As you are aware, just last year this fund made drastic cuts to benefits despite Kroger putting even more money into the fund than was bargained in the last contract.
We believe our associates deserve better. In our Last, Best and Final offer, we made a commitment to provide stable and affordable benefits in a company plan that are guaranteed through the life of the contract. We don’t think it makes sense to stay in the South-Central Fund, which has cut your benefits before, and could do so again.
By finally being able to leverage the size and reach of the Kroger Company, we believe we can provide not only a more stable health care plan, but also a much more modern and efficient benefit program for our associates. We want to take care of our associates and give you and your families the peace of mind that you deserve. Our Last, Best and Final Offer is the right way forward.
We hope the union reconsiders our offer and allows you to vote. Please get all the facts, talk with your family and friends, attend the meeting for your bargaining unit, and vote if you get the chance. We encourage you to review and download our Last, Best and Final Offer.