Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. union members voted in favor of a new three-year contract, avoiding a strike that could have sent more than 12,000 workers to the picket line in the central Ohio region.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) Local 1059 late Thursday provided an update on the status of the membership vote on the proposed contract agreement with Kroger.
“Today, the members of Local 1059 voted to ratify the contract agreement with Kroger,” said Randy Quickel, president of UFCW Local 1059, which represents the Kroger union workers, in a statement. “Throughout the entirety of this contentious and uncertain bargaining period, Local 1059 members have continued to make their voices heard and advocated tirelessly for the best contract possible for Kroger employees across the central Ohio region.
“This deal modernizes pay scales and guarantees wage increases to every member, while protecting benefits," Quickel added. “The security of a union contract is vital for so many Local 1059 members and their families.
The vote was a close one, according to media reports, with a vote of 3,546 to 3,193 in favor of the new contract.
A Kroger spokesperson did not immediately respond to a WGB request to comment on the vote.
Under the new contract, a majority of Kroger workers will receive a $1-per-hour wage boost starting later this month, according to media reports.
The union said the contract will go into effect immediately.
Local media and social media reported last month that members of Kroger's union had voted to authorize a strike. UFCW 1059 represents a total of 12,500 Kroger workers at 82 stores across Central Ohio.