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CINCINNATI - More than 8,000 workers for the Kroger Co. here began voting yesterday on the company's latest contract offer, which its union wants rejected.
Union leaders also asked members for a strike authorization. The contract, which expires at 10 p.m. Friday, affects cashiers, grocery baggers, and clerks in meat, produce, and delicatessen departments at 70 Kroger stores in southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeast Indiana.
Kroger spokesman Gary Rhodes told the Associated Press that the company began posting signs in stores Tuesday for temporary workers.
Union officials say the two sides remain far apart on issues including wages, pensions, and health care.
Yet they have reportedly agreed that a strike would hurt all parties involved. Following last year's 4 1/2-month strike and lockout in southern California, Kroger's earnings dropped significantly.