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    Kroger Associates in Ohio Reject Contract Offer

    Negotiations to resume next week; local authorizes strike if talks bear no fruit
     

    The Kroger Co. expects to resume contract negotiations next week with the union representing about 1,000 of its Ohio Valley associates after members overwhelmingly rejected the Cincinnati-based grocer’s contract offer.

    Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 23 voted 99 percent to reject Kroger’s offer on Sunday, reported Herald Star Online. Members also voted 97 percent to strike if no acceptable offer is forthcoming. Union members told the Herald Star the rejected offer included no pay increase and shifted health care costs to employees.

    Kroger said in a statement that the company’s offer did in fact include more money for associates, along with increase funding to a pension fund to maintain retirement benefits as well as “affordable health care.”

    “We believe, with more discussions, we can find a way to reach an agreement that is good for our associates and for our company too, so we can be competitive,” Kroger said in its statement.

    Negotiations expected to resume Aug. 23, and the union could vote on a new offer Aug. 28.
     

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