Union organizers deliver federal charges to several Kroger managers

Published: May. 14, 2016 at 5:52 PM EDT
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Disagreement continues between union members and the Kroger corporation. A statement from Local 400 of the United Food and Commercial Workers accused Kroger managers who tried to stop union employees from leafleting customers --of violating federal labor law.

The Local 400 statement

[ here ]

said "several store managers threatened the workers earlier this week for talking to customers" and "Federal labor law protects union workers to exercise their rights without retaliation by their employer." Local 400 organizers filed federal charges and "teams of Kroger union members delivered the charges to managers at several stores," the union statement said.

Unionized workers have been threatening to go on strike in the upcoming weeks. They are dissatisfied with Kroger's last offer when it comes to wages and sick days. The union believes Kroger can do better.

WHSV reached out to a Kroger manager in the Valley to whom charges were delivered, but he said the policy is to refer press inquiries about such things to Kroger's Media Relations office in Roanoke.

That store manager provided contact information which led to a prompt written reply from Anne Jenkins, Kroger's Mid-Atlantic customer communications manager:

"Our goal, always, is to provide our associates a solid compensation package of pay and benefits. We have provided the union a good offer. It increases pay, provides affordable health care and invests significant dollars to provide our associates a secure pension at retirement. We hope all of our associates consider this offer closely and see its benefits to them. We want to recognize the work of our associates and ensure that we can be competitive in the area, now and in the long run. That’s the best way to provide good stable jobs for our associates. The good news is that the company and union have signed a contract extension through June 4. This gives the parties additional time to continue talks and work through issues. The company is committed to providing all associates a solid and competitive pay and benefits package in this next contract. Our proposal on the table provides good pay increases, affordable health care and investment in our associates’ pension fund for their retirement."

There are 36 Kroger locations in Virginia under the current contract. WHSV's earlier coverage of the possible strike is online

[ here ].