COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The union representing central and southeastern Ohio Kroger workers announced a new contract offer had been made by the company Wednesday.
In a statement, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 1059 President Randy Quickel said:
“Negotiations concluded today with an updated contract offer to share with our membership. Our members have the ultimate say on whether this offer addresses their concerns, and our first priority is sharing this offer with them. Our efforts were focused on the needs of our members and delivering the wages and benefits they deserve as the tireless, essential workers who serve this community well.”Randy Quickel, UFCW Local 1059 president
Via a spokesperson, Kroger issued a statement confirming an agreement was reached, but also declined to include details.
Today, Kroger Columbus Division and UFCW Local 1059 committees met and reached agreement to modify the deal on our contract. It allows us to move forward on a contract that will benefit our associates. UFCW Local 1059 will share the details of the modifications with their members and will initiate a vote in the future.Amy McCormick, Corporate Affairs Manager, The Kroger Co.
Quickel’s statement did not specify what was in the new offer nor when a membership vote would take place. But an email sent to union members obtained by NBC4 said details of the tentative agreement would be sent to union members Friday after the documents are finalized.
That same email said union members would be voting on the contract offer at their individual stores during scheduled times on Tuesday, Oct. 4 through Thursday, Oct. 6.
On Sept. 16, the UFCW informed its members that 55% of more than 6,700 members turned down a third tentative contract agreement offered by the grocery chain. Kroger and the UFCW had recommended members ratify that version, as well as the previous two proposals.
Previous votes were held in late July and late August, according to emails sent to members obtained by NBC4.
Kroger consistently characterized that contract offer rejected by workers earlier this month as its “last, best and final offer” — but then said less than a week after the vote it would return to the negotiating table. The union had been pushing publicly for Kroger to come back and bargain, as opposed to calling a strike.
Eighty-two stores and around 12,500 workers within the Columbus division would be under the new contract. Those stores stretch throughout central and southeastern Ohio.