Kroger union employees working without a contract

(WDBJ)
Published: May. 11, 2016 at 6:31 PM EDT
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About 3,000 Kroger union employees in the Roanoke Valley are working without a contract.

It expired at midnight on Saturday.

Kroger and the union have been negotiating a new contract since March.

The union's bargaining committee rejected Kroger's last offer.

Union representatives say they want the company to keep health benefits for retirees.

They also want personal and sick days.

Kroger offered a 25 cents an hour raise for full-time employees and 20 cents an hour for part-time workers.

The union believes Kroger can do better.

“The company is earning record profits, $2.4 billion. It's time they take care of the associates that are in there every day working hard to make sure that company is successful,” said Dawn Greenway, Head Deli Clerk and member of the UFCW Local 400 bargaining committee.

Kroger has agreed to honor the union's current contract until June 1st.

Union workers will vote on whether to accept Kroger's offer next week.

If it is rejected, the union will vote to authorize a strike.

A Kroger spokesperson released the following statement:

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 Roanoke area, now and in the long run. That’s the best way to provide good stable jobs for our associates.