CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Kroger grocery store workers represented by The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against their employer, but for now, will continue talking.
The rank and file voted 1,551 to 130 to reject the company’s latest contract offer and 1,490-199 to approve a strike.
“As we told Kroger time and time again,” says a post on the union’s website “we fully expected members to reject a proposal that puts our health care at risk. By voting this down so overwhelmingly, we have sent a message loud and clear to the company that we will not accept a substandard contract.”
The major differences between the union and company are over health care coverage – deductibles, copays, out of pocket costs, etc..
“We are disappointed that our Comprehensive Best Offer to Settle was not accepted,” said Allison McGee, corporate affairs manager for Kroger Mid-Atlantic, in a statement to 13 News. “We remain committed to reaching an agreement. We have told union leaders we remain ready and willing to meet in additional negotiation sessions to see how we might resolve any outstanding issues.
“A strike authorization doesn’t mean a strike,” she added. “At this point, the union has not called for a work stoppage.”