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    N.C. Kroger Workers Consider Strike over Health Care

    RALEIGH-DURHAM, N.C. -- Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 204 at Kroger stores in the Raleigh-Durham area are threatening to go on strike for health care and wage increases.

    RALEIGH-DURHAM, N.C. -- Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 204 at Kroger stores in the Raleigh-Durham area are threatening to go on strike for health care and wage increases.

    In a statement released yesterday, the UFCW said negotiations with the retailer will continue to take place, and members will bargain in good faith with Kroger. It noted, however, that "if Kroger is unwilling to provide workers with adequate health care and wage increases, a strike may become a reality as early as mid-August."

    Workers voted in two meetings yesterday evening, and will vote in a third meeting today at 7:30 p.m. The threatened strike would affect 1,000 workers from 19 stores in the area.

    In their last contract, workers bargained for corporate contributions to their health care fund. The UFCW claims that because local Kroger workers have remained relatively healthy in the last few years, there is now over $4 million in that fund--$4 million that is already invested for health care for workers and their families.

    The labor group said Kroger wants workers to pay an extra $1 million out of their own paychecks toward health care.

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