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    Kroger Merges Contracts for Ohio Associates

    Grocery giant ratifies agreement with UFCW Local 75

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ

    At a time when large corporations are routinely villified by organized labor and their advocates, it's comforting to know that one of the biggest players in the grocery indusry is enjoying amicable relations with its union, both working together for their common good.

    The nation's largest traditional grocer, The Kroger Co. has ratified a new labor agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 75 that merges the formerly separate contracts for the associates working in its Cincinnati and Dayton division stores. Officials at Cincinnati-based Kroger say this new agreement is mutually beneficial to both the associates and the company, by making transfers and promotions across boundaries easier while providing more job and career choices for employees represented by the local. The contract covers 12,766 associates working in 76 stores in Cincinnati and 4,945 associates working in 32 stores in Dayton. 

    'Thoughtful and productive work'

    "We are pleased to reach an agreement that is good for our associates," said Sukanya Madlinger, president of Kroger's Cincinnati/Dayton Division. "This agreement provides wage increases, affordable health care and investment in our associates' pension fund to support their retirement. This agreement comes after thoughtful and productive work by both the company and union bargaining committees. I want to thank our associates for supporting this agreement and for the excellent service they provide to our customers every day."

    PG's 2013 Retailer of the Year, Kroger is known within the industry for taking great care with its plans of succession for the consistent, orderly and sustainable stewardship of its highly successful nationwide network of supermarkets, along with all the services that support those 2,600-plus stores operating under two dozen banners in 34 states. It invests considerable time and resources as well in career development throughout all levels of the company, so it's really not a surprise to hear about things such as this new contract arrangment.

    Kroger's relationship with its rank and file should be an example to other retailers searching for the right formula for management and labor working together for the common good.

     

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ
    • About Jim Dudlicek As editor-in-chief of Progressive Grocer, Jim Dudlicek oversees daily operations of the magazine, spearheads its signature features, produces PG’s monthly Trend Alert newsletter on center store issues, moderates its regular webcast series, and writes and comments about a wide range of grocery issues. A food industry journalist since 2002, Jim came to PG in June 2010 after covering the dairy industry for 7½ years, during which time he served as chief editor of Dairy Field and Dairy Foods magazines. A graduate of Marquette University, Jim is fascinated by how truly progressive grocers inspire consumers to enjoy food, transforming the industry from mere merchants into educators that can take the most basic of all necessities and turn it into something profound and life-enhancing.

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