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CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. here said it won't turn a Louisville, Ken. warehouse it owns over to two private companies until after the holiday season.
The nation's leading grocer has decided to delay the transfer of the Kentucky Distribution Center "so that employees can focus on their family, our customers, and our stores during this busy time of year," the company said in a statement.
About 800 workers at the plant are members of Teamsters Local 89, whose leaders expressed concern that the job security of those employees -- and possibly their pay and benefits -- would be jeopardized by the deal, according to published reports.
Executives with the two companies, Zenith Logistics Inc. and Transervice Logistics Inc., have pledged to maintain current wage and benefit levels, but union officials are pushing Kroger to guarantee workers' job security before the transfer is complete.
The facility, which opened in 1993, houses produce, grocery, dairy, and hundreds of other items that are distributed to stores across much of Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Kroger has delayed the transfer several times since Oct. 11 when the deal was first announced; the most recent deadline for the ownership change was Sunday.