Talk about adding insult to injury. For Local 400 member Angela Chiles, who works at Kroger #501 in North Chesterfield, VA, it was bad enough when she tripped on a piece of plastic in her store’s receiving area and severely injured her knee. Repairing the knee required surgery and months of physical therapy. But then the insult came when Kroger wrongfully dropped her down a level in pay, taking $2.05/hour out of her pocket.
Fortunately, Angela had her union on her side. Because she was injured on the job, she filed and received workers’ compensation. However, management used her absence when she was recovering under her doctor’s care and unable to work to calculate that she was no longer averaging the 38 hours a week required to maintain her pay level. This violated the terms of her collective bargaining agreement.
When Angela returned to work in January and received her first check, she saw she was being paid $2.05/hour less than before her injury. Her Local 400 representative, Kawanna Gough, immediately filed a grievance on her behalf. It was settled on April 13, with Kroger restoring Angela’s higher wage level and issuing backpay of $1,033.81 to cover the period when she was underpaid.
This is what happens when your union has your back. If Angela had not been represented by a union, she would have had little recourse. Non-union workers are cheated out of their pay all the time. But Local 400 made sure that Kroger upheld the terms of her contract and Angela was fully compensated.