Richmond/Tidewater Shop Stewards Say Kroger: “End Anti-Worker and Anti-Union Messages to New Marketplace Store Employees”
Tuesday May 13, 2014 Richmond/Tidewater Kroger Shop Stewards held a seminar to learn more about strengthening the power of our union through new member sign up, engaging members in the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations this summer, and the importance of organizing the new employees at the Kroger Marketplace stores by taking direct action at a Richmond area Kroger Marketplace.
“The power of the union is in you all, its members,” said Local 400 President Mark Federici. “The power only arrives when you all stick together and show the number one food retailer that you deserve to share in their successes.”
Despite the afternoon’s steamy temperatures, two bus loads of Kroger shop stewards from both Local 400 and Local 23 in Pittsburgh, Penn., alongside faith leaders, community allies, and other supporters headed to Kroger Marketplace store #519 in Henrico, Va. to show solidarity, talk with customers, and deliver a letter to management. The letter demanded an end to the anti-worker and anti-union messages the management is circulating on behalf of Kroger. It brought home the point that joining our union is a decision the employees should be allowed to make together in an influence-free and intimidation-free work environment.
The group of about 150 activists sporting “Solidarity with Virginia Kroger Worker” t-shirts and buttons, marched and chanted, “we are Kroger strong, we are union strong” and “we are the union, the mighty mighty union!” to the beat of Local 23’s drum line in front of the store.
At the same time, a delegation of Local 400 President Mark Federici, Local 23 President Tony Helfer, Kroger stewards and Richmond area faith leaders went into the store to hand-deliver the letter and talk to employees.
“For my first action as a new steward I had a lot of fun and I definitely think Kroger heard us loud and clear!” said Jennifer Quint, Shop Steward from Kroger 503.
Check out all the photos from yesterday’s event and stay tuned for a video from this very successful action!
This action is part of a series of events leading up to Kroger Richmond/Tidewater contract negotiations this summer.
Grand Opening: Last month, Kroger members along with President Mark Federici attended the grand opening event for Kroger 519. Just like store 540 in Virginia Beach, Va. Kroger is attempting to deny its workforce the benefits of a union contract.
Solidarity Buttons: Kroger workers from Richmond, Tidewater, Roanoke areas in Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania have been flexing their solidarity muscles in their stores to share with customers that Kroger has been denying some of their employees the benefits of a union contract. More Locals will be joining this solidarity movement in the coming months–look out for more photos on our Facebook page (be sure to “like” it)
Community Action: Kroger 511: Last week a community contingent distributed Solidarity buttons to the membership in Kroger #511 to educate them about upcoming contract negotiations as well as stress the importance of being united with the workforce at the new Marketplace stores. Thank you to **Raise Up for $15, **VCU Living Wage Campaign, **SCLC,** VA Peoples Assembly, **Wayside Learning Center, **Food not Bombs, **IBEW, **AFLCIO and **VA Organizing for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us!