In the lead up to negotiations on the Richmond/Hampton Roads contract, Local 400 has been bridging the gap between online strategy and store side strategy to make sure members and customers voices are heard!
Last Thursday during Kroger’s annual shareholders meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, Local 400 Kroger members, customers, community and labor allies shared their message with Kroger: Allow workers to have a voice at work, free from company interference and coercion and end the anti-worker campaign Kroger has been implementing at the Eastern Virginia region “Marketplace” stores.
In the days leading up to Kroger’s shareholder meeting, Kroger members nationwide, customers and allies signed an online petition, which has over 500 signers, supported a digital Thunderclap that saturated social networks by pushing out over 200 tweets and Facebook posts generating a total reach of 110,000 people, all hearing our message loud and clear. But Local 400 wasn’t done yet.
During the shareholder meeting, Kroger members and customers took to Kroger’s Facebook page in real time, sharing messages of support like one UFCW Local 23 member who posted, “I worked at Kroger in the past and it was a good company! It is sad to see the path it is taking. Walmart models of business are NO GOOD for America!” Followed by another supporter who wrote, “Kroger please stop treating your employees as an expense and start treating them like the great investment they are.” A loyal Kroger customer then added, “I have always supported the Kroger company and encourage many of my friends to do their shopping there. I hope that Kroger will rethink what they are doing to their employees who have come to know me by name.”
Simultaneously, these digital actions were met with storefront actions throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio garnering support from loyal customers, who where asked to stand with workers by signing a support card and turning it in to the manager on duty.
For years these Kroger employees have had a voice on the job, working together with management to make Kroger a high road employer. But recently, with the opening of some new stores where they are denying their employees the right to a voice, following the lead of anti-worker companies like Walmart and Harris Teeter (now owned by Kroger), we have to take the lead in informing our customers about preserving good, community sustaining jobs!