Yesterday, supermarket chain Kroger announced plans to purchase Harris Teeter. UFCW Local 400 members in Roanoke who are in contract negotiations with Kroger right now are asking, what about us?
This proposed deal begs the question of “why these Kroger workers are having to fight for crucial items for their families at the bargaining table. If Kroger has the cash to put up to acquire a competitor, that cash is a result of the workers making them profitable.”
It’s the workers who “provide the excellent customer service, stock the shelves, cut the meat, bake the bread, scan the groceries and who generate the wealth for Kroger.”
Please remind the store manager at your local Kroger that as a customer you expect to see serious bargaining proposals that reward the workers for their contributions that make the Kroger Company profitable enough to purchase a competitor. Also, when you’re in a Kroger, please tell the workers that you support them in their negotiations.
In total, Kroger is putting up $2.5 billion and plans to pay Harris Teeter shareholders close to $50/share.
What’s more is the company avoided questions about unionization for newly acquired stores.
The Harris Teeter stores in Charlottesville and Northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland will be operated by Kroger in areas where other UFCW Local 400 members live and work at Giant and Safeway. Giant and Safeway have been union and represented by UFCW Local 400 for decades.