June 25, 2007
(Houston, Tex.)—This weekend, grocery workers in Houston and Dallas represented by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local Unions 540, 455, and 408 achieved a solid victory when they overwhelmingly voted to ratify a three-year contract agreement securing affordable, quality health care.
With the support of community and religious leaders, shoppers and UFCW members nationwide, Texas workers held firm in their resolve to improve health care funding, quality, and cost for all Kroger workers. They achieved their aims in a contract with:
- adequate health and welfare funding for the length of the contract;
- wage increases up to as much as $3/hr over the contract;
- increased vacation, with more flexibility; and
- improved pension security.
Kroger also provided a letter of commitment which guarantees adequate resources in the health and welfare fund, in addition to which the company promises to add up to $1.4 million if necessary. The level of funding in the health and welfare fund was one of the primary concerns for workers during contract negotiations.“Workers are pleased with the contract,” said Chad Young, UFCW International Vice President and Region Director. “We’re certain that the funding will be secure for quality, affordable health care.”
Throughout the negotiations process, UFCW members demonstrated solidarity and strength in bargaining for a fair contract. Coordinated action with supporters and customers was also key to the workers’ success. Community members and grocery workers sent emails of support, attended a rally for Kroger workers, sent emails to Kroger CEO David Dillon, and signed pledge cards supporting Kroger employees.
The coordinated effort in Houston and Dallas is part of a UFCW nationwide bargaining unity program. By supporting each other regionally and nationally, as well as engaging customers and community members in their struggle, grocery workers are improving grocery industry jobs for themselves and their communities. To learn more about the Texas contracts and other bargaining campaigns, go to: www.groceryworkersunited.org.