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CINCINNATI --The labor union representing some 10,000 Kroger Co. employees here voted overwhelmingly to reject a contract proposal from the retailer and authorized a strike yesterday.
In an action alert email sent to its members in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, the union said 98 percent of its members voted against the proposal.
"Under the proposed contract, workers would pay more for health care and take a benefits cut, leave their retirement security in jeopardy, and see wage increases less than other agreements in the region," the union said in the email.
"You can't tell the people one day that they are your greatest competitive advantage, and tell them the next day that they are a burden to the bottom line," said Local 1099's president, Lennie Wyatt in the email. "Our members are the people who make this company successful, and it's time for them to share the success."
Wyatt, whose Local 1099 represents workers in most of western and all of southwestern Ohio, all of northern Kentucky south to Lexington, and part of southeast Indiana, said the union is "hopeful that Kroger will make a fair and balanced agreement."
Kroger employees will continue to work under an extension agreement until Nov. 3, or with four days notice from either the union or the company.