Company Notifies Union on Implementation of Additional Items

As you know, we are moving forward with implementing the terms of our Last, Best and Final Offer initially with wage improvements and health care benefits through a company-administered plan. As a reminder, wage increases will be effective for all hours worked beginning on October 4, 2020. Your 2021 health care benefits will be provided through a company-administered plan effective January 1, 2021. Open enrollment information in the company plan will be provided soon.

Because we are at impasse, earlier today we informed Local 455 that we will be implementing additional items from our Last, Best and Final Offer. Effective immediately we will implement the following:

  • Minimum hours guarantee Increasing the minimum hours guarantee to 18 hours
  • Personal Holidays Associates will accumulate personal holidays more quickly beginning in 2021.
  • Vacation for Part-time Meat Beginning in January 2021, part-time Meat associates will receive a third week of pro-rated vacation after 10 years of service
  • Daily OT Overtime will continue to be paid daily but after 8.5 hours of work
  • Ability to Maximize Hours Allows associates to move within departments, including clerks assisting in the Meat department and Meat associates assisting in other departments
    • Clerks will not be operating cutting equipment or machinery within Meat department
    • Meat associates will not be assigned to Front-End duties
  • Vendor Stocking Allows vendors to stock all bulk foods products and sanitize bulk food bins

We also have FAQs for you to download and review.

Negotiations Update

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.