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MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. -- There's a new leader at the helm of a large labor union based here. Roger Robinson was elected president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 876, a 20,000-member labor organization representing workers in eastern and northern Michigan employed by Kroger, Farmer Jack, and Rite Aid, among others.
Robinson, the local's current secretary-treasurer, was elected by a four-to-one margin over his challenger, incumbent president Victoria R. Collins. His term runs for three years beginning Jan. 1, 2007.
Robinson said over the last year and a half, "it became clear to many of us at Local 876 that the union was heading in the wrong direction and the only way to right the ship was for a change to occur at the top.
"Several tough challenges are facing Local 876 and its members," Robinson said. "From our upcoming contract negotiations with Kroger and unresolved issues at Farmer Jack, to fierce non-union competition and attacks by anti- worker politicians, we are being challenged on many fronts. However, we believe with the right leadership, Local 876 can meet these challenges and achieve the best possible outcome for the membership."
Robinson, 57, began his career as a bagger for BiLo Markets (Kroger) in 1966, and spent the next 23 years working full-time in produce and meat departments for Danny's Market, Allied/GreatScott, and Farmer Jack. In 1989, Robinson joined the staff of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Local 539 and continued working for the union following the merger with UFCW Local 876.