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19 Nov 2021

Jay R. Jordan, Chron.

USA: Nearly 13,000 Kroger workers vote to strike amid negotiations on contracts that allegedly 'undercut' workers

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"14,000 Kroger workers in Houston could go on strike before Thanksgiving", 19 November 2021

Nearly 14,000 Kroger workers in Houston voted last weekend to authorize a strike against the company as negotiations over a new contract continue to stall ahead of the busy Thanksgiving week.

The authorization gives United Food and Commercial Workers Local 455 members the nod to walk off the job at a moment's notice — putting pressure on the company and workers to come to terms...

The union's contract with the company expired in April 2020, and the two parties have been under tense negotiations ever since. Offers from Kroger management undercut workers, the union says, by not providing adequate pay and benefits...

"With this vote, Kroger grocery workers are sending a clear message that they are ready to stand up for the good pay, lower prescription costs, and quality healthcare they have earned on the frontlines of this pandemic," UFCW Local 455 President Brandon Hopkins said in a statement to the site...

In a statement, Kroger claimed it has offered $56 million in wage increases and an additional $75 million in healthcare benefits through mid-2023. That translates to an average wage of $15 an hour, the company said.