September 29, 2008
UNITED INDIANA GROCERY WORKERS ACHIEVE HIGHER LIVING STANDARDS
(Indianapolis, IN) Workers in Indiana’s grocery industry now have better jobs and a stronger voice at the bargaining table, thanks to a new agreement between UFCW Local 700 and the Kroger Company.
The contract covers 1100 Kroger/Sav-On workers in central Indiana, and includes:
- Early and significant wage increases and bonuses;
- Major improvements to health and welfare, with employer contribution increases;
- Increases in paid holidays, vacations, and personal days.
“I am thrilled,” said Jennifer Keating, Local 700 member and Kroger Sav-On employee. “I’ve only been with the company a little over a year, and with this contract I’m going to get $2.65 in raises in just one year. And I’ve also gained another week’s paid vacation.”
Marcia Sisson, a pharmacy tech at Kroger Sav-On and UFCW 700 member, agreed. “It’s a great deal,” she said of the agreement, which increases her pay $3 over the contract.
“UFCW Local 700 is part of the Grocery Workers United program, which is leading a nationwide effort to make grocery jobs good jobs,” said UFCW Local 700 President Joe Chorpenning. “The UFCW has settled good contracts, the kind that bring good jobs, in cities across the country—including right here in Indianapolis. By uniting workers to bargain better contracts,” he said, “we’re helping grocery workers throughout Indiana turn supermarket jobs into good, middle class jobs—the kind that come with affordable health care, a living wage, and a secure retirement, and that benefit workers and their communities.”
Members are keenly aware of the difference the contract will make to their standard of living. “Gaining this new prescription card will save me hundreds of dollars,” said Miranda Biddle, Local 700 member and Kroger Sav-On employee. “And I gain another $250,000 in coverage and free cleanings, vision and dental improvements, too. I love it!”
“Grocery store workers across Indiana are enjoying better lives because they are uniting to improve wages and benefits in the grocery industry,” said Chorpenning. “And we’re taking that message to every community in Indiana, from Evansville to Fort Wayne.”