August 3, 2006
(Raleigh, NC) – North Carolina Kroger workers are preparing to walk off the job, if forced, over company demands that would make health care unaffordable for workers and their families. Meetings this week, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 204 voted overwhelmingly to reject Kroger’s latest contract demands and authorized a strike. Members voted by 96.5 percent to reject the latest proposals and authorize a strike.
The UFCW is committed to the bargaining process and will continue to bargain with Kroger as long as necessary. However, if Kroger is unwilling to provide workers with adequate health care and wage increases, a strike may become a reality as early as mid-August. The threatened strike would affect 1,000 workers from 19 stores in the Raleigh-Durham area.
North Carolina Kroger workers rejected company demands because:
- They would be forced to pay an extra $1.4 million out of their own paychecks towards health care.
- They would have to choose between health care and things like rent, food, and other basic necessities.
- Any wage increases workers would get under the new contract would be eaten up by the proposed increased health care costs.
UFCW members are prepared to fight to maintain grocery jobs that can sustain a family and provide affordable health care. Kroger workers are among the most productive in the retail food industry, and have generated more than $60 billion in sales for their company in the last year.