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Hundreds Rally for a #BetterKroger in Roanoke

On June 12, 2018, hundreds of Kroger associates and their supporters held a rally outside of the Kroger Mid-Atlantic Division corporate office in Roanoke, Virginia.

The protest centered around a Kroger store in Norfolk, Virginia, where dozens of long-time employees could lose their jobs as a result of the company’s recent purchase of eight Farm Fresh stores in the Hampton Roads region.

In March 2018, Kroger announced plans to buy eight Farm Fresh stores in the Hampton Roads region, renovate them, and reopen them as Kroger stores.  But one of the locations Kroger purchased is directly across the street from an existing store in Norfolk, Virginia.

Now, it is only a matter of time before the store closes and employees are concerned about the future of their jobs. Many have worked at Kroger for years – even decades. They have asked if they will be allowed to transfer to the new store across the street, but after several months, Kroger still refuses to give them straight answers.

Every employee in the store signed a petition demanding answers and delivered it to their store manager. A week later, they invited Kroger to answer questions and address their concerns at a public town hall. Dozens of store associates showed up, but Kroger refused to send a representative.

Having exhausted all proper channels, on June 12, 2018, hundreds of Kroger associates and their supporters held a rally outside of the Kroger Mid-Atlantic Division corporate office in Roanoke, Virginia.

The protesters delivered five grocery carts of petitions to the Kroger office. The petitions were signed by Kroger associates and customers from throughout the region, as well as fellow union members from other grocery chains, and called on the company to meet with associates and assure them that they will have the opportunity to transfer to the new store across the street without losing the benefits they have earned.

View photos from the rally and learn more at BetterKroger.org

June 12: Rally for a Better Kroger

Kroger members in Norfolk are at risk of losing their jobs, their healthcare, and their retirement benefits. We need your help to save their jobs!

We have gathered signatures on a petition from Kroger associates, customers and community supporters calling on Kroger to meet with us

On Tuesday, June 12th, we’re going to Kroger’s corporate office in Roanoke to deliver our petition straight to Jerry Clontz, President of the Kroger Mid-Atlantic Division.

Join us!

Rally for a #BetterKroger

Tuesday, June 12, 2018
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
First Wesleyan Church
3706 Peters Creek Rd, Roanoke, VA

Learn more at www.BetterKroger.org

 

POSTPONED: Macy’s Contract Meeting May 20th Postponed Until Further Notice

The Macy’s Bargaining Committee – pictured left to right: Bianca Morris (Marlow Heights), Arleetta Hunter (Montgomery Mall), Mary Burns-O’Connor (Bowie), Kimberly Mitchell (Metro Center), Lewis Mattison (Montgomery Mall)

The Macy’s contract meeting previously scheduled for Sunday, May 20th has been postponed until further notice.

We began these contract negotiations united with our brothers and sisters from UFCW Local 21 working at Macy’s stores in Seattle. By standing united coast to coast, we are able to work together to negotiate better contracts for all of us.

Thanks to all of you who took action for a fair contract, we have successfully reached a tentative agreement with Macy’s that we are prepared to recommend for ratification. But while our contract talks have concluded, negotiations are still underway between Macy’s and our fellow union members at UFCW Local 21 in Seattle.

We’re in this together. We started this united coast to coast, and we’re going to finish it united coast to coast. That’s why, with the unanimous support of your bargaining committee, we have decided we will not vote on our new contract until Macy’s reaches an agreement with our brothers and sisters on the west coast. We will continue to wear our buttons and take action in solidarity with our Macy’s coworkers in Seattle.

Rest assured, we expect the wage increases and other gains we have made in our new contract to take effect retroactively. We are also aware that open enrollment for your health insurance begins on Tuesday, May 22. Later this week, we will be giving you additional information about health care changes that are included in the tentative agreement so you will have all of the information you need in order to make your enrollment selection.

We will notify all Macy’s members once our contract meeting has been rescheduled. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your questions and comments.

May 22 & 23: Fight For A Better Contract At Kroger

BETTER PAY + AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE + RESPECT

Join us for an upcoming union contract meeting to help us to shape our strategy and prioritize our goals for contract negotiations.

We are fighting for a fair contract with better pay, affordable healthcare, and respect for our union. We need to hear what YOU want to see in your upcoming contract, so make sure to be there!

Please plan to attend one of the meetings listed below. You are welcome to attend either of them.

You should also receive a card in the mail inviting you to the meeting. Please bring this card with you to whichever meeting you attend.

Kroger Union Contract Meetings

Richmond Area – May 22, 2018
6:00 pm
Comfort Suites Innsbrook
4051 Innslake Drive, Glen Allen, VA, 23060

Norfolk Area – May 23, 2018
6:00 pm
Iron Workers Local 79
5307 E Virginia Beach Blvd # 102, Norfolk, VA 23502

 

Sign Up for Text Alerts

As we negotiate our next union contract with Kroger, we’re committed to keeping you informed every step of the way. With so many ways to stay in the loop, don’t get left out of the conversation!

Text Richmond to 698-329

Your wireless provider’s message and data rates may apply – you may opt out any time by texting STOP to 698-329

May 10: Join Us for the Norfolk Kroger Jobs Town Hall

Kroger associates gathered to protest the rumored closure of their store Norfolk.

Norfolk Kroger Jobs Town Hall
6:00pm, Thursday, May 10
Wesley Grace United Methodist Church
288 E. Little Creek Rd, Norfolk, VA
At the I-64W exit ramp for E. Little Creek Road near Wards Corner

In March, Kroger announced plans to buy eight Farm Fresh stores in the Tidewater region in southern Virginia. The company plans to renovate the Farm Fresh locations and reopen them as Kroger stores.

But one of the locations Kroger purchased is directly across the street from an existing Kroger store at 205 East Little Creek Rd in Norfolk. Naturally, employees there want to know what will happen to their jobs when the new Kroger store opens up across the street. Kroger obviously doesn’t plan to operate two stores so close to each other, so associates are concerned that their store will close soon.

Employees have asked if they will be allowed to transfer to the new store across the street, but Kroger has refused to give them straight answers.

Last week, associates from the Norfolk Kroger store circulated a petition demanding to know if and when their store will be closed, and if they will have the opportunity to transfer across the street without losing the benefits they have earned. Nearly every single employee at the store signed the petition.

On Thursday, May 9, they delivered the petition to management, flanked by local TV camera crews and community supporters from Norfolk Branch NAACP, New Virginia Majority, and the Virginia AFL-CIO.

The event was widely publicized on local news and Kroger eventually responded with a public statement:

Our focus right now is on interviewing and onboarding former Farm Fresh associates to welcome them to our Kroger team.

We think it’s time for Kroger to focus on Kroger associates. We think Kroger employees deserve to know what will happen to their store and to their jobs. We think our members deserve to keep the pay, seniority and benefits they have earned and they should have the opportunity to transfer to the new store across the street when it opens.

Join us for a town hall with Kroger associates, customers, neighbors and elected officials to help us demand answers and preserve good jobs at Kroger!

Norfolk Kroger Jobs Town Hall
6:00pm, Thursday, May 10
Wesley Grace United Methodist Church
288 E. Little Creek Rd, Norfolk, VA
At the I-64W exit ramp for E. Little Creek Road near Wards Corner

 

 

Outspoken Kroger Shop Steward Stands Up for Her Coworkers

Courtney Meadows speaks to WVVA news during a #BetterKroger rally in October 2017.

Courtney Meadows speaks her mind—and for the past year, she’s been doing it to great effect.

A Local 400 member for the past seven years who works as lead file maintenance clerk at Kroger #805 in Beckley, W.Va., Courtney was asked to serve on the Contract Action Team during last year’s bargaining over a new contract. Her shop steward at the time said, “There’s your spitfire,” and that was an understatement.

“I won’t hesitate to tell a manager to stop being a jerk and start treating us with respect,” Courtney said. And she was just as outspoken when she went into other Kroger stores to inform and mobilize her sisters and brothers for the contract battle.

“I would ask folks to show up at our rallies and tell management that we’re not going to take any crappy offers,” she said. “We’ve got to get management’s attention.”

At the first rally, between 30 and 40 members attended. But by the last one, Courtney had tripled turnout to 90.

“I just tried to make sure we showed Kroger we’re better people and that we’re not going to stoop to their level of pettiness,” she said. “We kept everything peaceful and respectful, and we had the impact we needed.”

When members voted to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement with Kroger in West Virginia, Courtney was both relieved and proud. “I was very glad of what we accomplished,” she explained. “Like Mark [Federici] said, there’s never been and never will be a perfect contract. But for us to get the only Kroger contract not to lose any benefits and to get wage increases, that was huge. We stuck together, we fought together and we got what we needed.”

In the midst of the contract battle, Courtney became a shop steward at her store. “My rep told me, ‘you’ve earned your stripes,’” she said. In addition, Courtney was asked to join a member organizing drive at Kroger stores in the Richmond/Tidewater area, which took place over 12 days in December.

“This was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Courtney said. “To come from an area with 100 percent membership and go into stores that had less than 50 percent because of Virginia’s ‘right to work’ law was an eye-opener. Some people didn’t know what a union was and others were scared. So I gave a crash course in union history, and I explained that Kroger can’t do a single thing to you for signing up—it’s your legal right.

“I also talked to them about our own bargaining experience in West Virginia,” she continued. “I went through how we got raises across the board, how we kept our health care the same and how even if the cost of the plan rises, Kroger will pay the difference. We even won the requirement that Kroger has to provide rubber boots for workers in the meat shop. And I explained the reason why we won these provisions is because we have 100 percent membership, and that’s how you can make the same gains here. That really grabbed their attention.

“So I think it was a huge accomplishment to get the applications we were able to get,” she said. “And I’d go back and do it again in a heartbeat.”

In January, Courtney traveled to Charleston to participate in Local 400’s and the West Virginia AFL-CIO’s Lobby Day.

A resident of Fairdale, W.Va., Courtney is looking forward to continuing to take on corporate greed through Local 400. “I’m tired of companies coming in and abusing their employees, and looking down on us because some of us don’t have a college education,” she said. “I’m tired of them making $2 billion in profits but only wanting to pay us just above minimum wage. I’m tired of [Kroger CEO] Rodney McMullen getting a $2 million dollar raise but only wanting to give us 25 cents an hour. And I want to see better working conditions, and no retaliation against people who file grievances.”

Courtney is equally focused on her job as a shop steward. “I talk to everyone and I tell them, ‘you cannot get in trouble for talking to me, they cannot say anything to you,’” she said. “Everything they say to me is confidential. And if they have a problem, I’m going to fight like hell to fix it.”

Her sisters and brothers at Kroger #805—and all Local 400 members—are fortunate to have this spitfire speaking her mind and fighting for them.

May 2: Tyson Foods Contract Meeting

We pulled together an outstanding team of Tyson Foods members to lead negotiations on our next contract, including Benita Jefferson, Mary Vines Smith, Alana Baylor, Andrew Adams, Tiffany Davenport, Aleta Johnson, Jean Turner, and Lucinda Sims.

On Wednesday, May 2, we will be hosting a contract meeting for members working at Tyson Foods.

As a Local 400 union member, you have the opportunity to get answers to your questions and vote on your next contract. Please make a plan to attend this important contract meeting.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

12:00 p.m. Noon – 2:00 p.m.  or  4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Clarion Hotel Central
3207 N Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23230

April 19: Rally for a Fair Contract at Macy’s

As we negotiate our next union contract with Macy’s, we are fighting for better pay, better schedules, and better healthcare.

We’re taking a stand — not just for Macy’s workers here in the Washington Metropolitan region, but across the country. We’ve teamed up with our union brothers and sisters from UFCW Local 21 in Seattle to plan simultaneous coast-to-coast actions on Thursday, April 19. Join us at a rally near you!

Thursday, April 19
Noon – 1:00pm

Macy’s Metro Center
1201 G St NW, Washington, DC

Macy’s Prince George’s Plaza
3500 East-West Hwy, Hyattsville, MD

 

Sign Up for Text Alerts

As we negotiate our next union contract with Macy’s, we’re committed to keeping you informed every step of the way. With so many ways to stay in the loop, don’t get left out of the conversation!

Text Macys400 to 698-329

Your wireless provider’s message and data rates may apply. You may opt out any time by texting STOP to 698-329.

April 15: CVS Contract Meeting

Photo via Flickr

On Sunday, April 15, we will be hosting a contract meeting for members working at CVS. As a Local 400 union member, you have the opportunity to get answers to your questions and vote on your next contract. Please make a plan to attend this important contract meeting.

7:00 p.m., Sunday, April 15, 2018

UFCW Local 400 Headquarters
8400 Corporate Drive, Landover, MD 20785
Please note: We’ll be meeting in the first floor meeting room. Please enter through the door at the rear of the building.

Forming a New Coalition of Unions to Negotiate with Kaiser Permanente

Local 400 shop stewards from Kaiser Permanente facilities in the mid-Atlantic region pose for a photo during a seminar in February.

To secure the best new contract possible as we head into negotiations, 21 local unions from the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions (CKPU) – including UFCW Local 400 – have decided to create a new coalition.

We are forming this new coalition because it is the best way to ensure that we enter negotiations from a position of strength. This move will help to guarantee that every dedicated member who works at Kaiser Permanente will see the better contract they deserve.

Additionally, this change will improve our partnership with Kaiser Permanente so that together we can continue to see a better workplace and better patient care.

Please know that the current National Agreement with Kaiser remains in full effect. And we will immediately be taking steps with our new coalition to ensure this agreement is enhanced through upcoming negotiations.

While we are departing the CKPU, we will continue to engage in current Labor-Management Partnership activities. Members should remain full participants of their Unit-Based Teams and Labor-Management Partnership Committees.

In the coming weeks, we will create governing documents for the new coalition and arrange for Kaiser Permanente to bargain with us as a group. This new coalition represents about 45,000 workers and the committed Local Unions who belong to it represent workers in all but two Kaiser Permanente regions. By forming it, we will truly be stronger together.

Thank you for your hard work and for being a member of the UFCW union family. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.