New Master Agreement Covers Over 1,500 Grocery Workers Nationwide
(WASHINGTON) – Teamsters at Kroger have voted by an overwhelming 88 percent to ratify a new national contract. The five-year master agreement covers over 1,500 Kroger workers nationwide and provides significant improvements to wages, benefits, and working conditions.
“The strength of this agreement is a direct result of locals working together and putting members first. Thanks to coordinated bargaining, as well as the input and participation of rank-and-file members, we were able to win the most lucrative deal in the history of the national contract at Kroger,” said Tom Erickson, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division.
For the first time, the national negotiating committee included rank-and-file members who work in the industry. Those members played an instrumental role in the bargaining process, attending negotiation sessions and providing feedback.
“After months of hard-fought bargaining, we’re so excited to announce that we have ratified a new contract that will improve the working conditions of all Kroger Teamsters and put more money in workers’ pockets,” said Aaron Washington, an order selector at Kroger and union steward for Teamsters Local 667 in Memphis, who took part in negotiations. “It wasn’t an easy process, but we remained strong throughout negotiations and stuck together, and that’s why we have this win today.”
All five local supplemental agreements were also ratified, successfully addressing members’ top priorities. The locals which are party to the contract are Local 667, Teamsters Local 135 in Indianapolis, Teamsters Local 337 in Detroit, Teamsters Local 988 in Houston, and Teamsters Local 795 in Wichita, Kan.
“Our members at Kroger refused to back down, they reminded the grocery giant of who makes this company run. They fought hard for this contract,” said James E. Jones Jr., President of Local 667. “The success of this contract was made possible because of the new approach to bargaining. We intended for this contract to set the standard for warehouse workers and drivers in the Memphis-area grocery market, and we succeeded with the support of every local working together in a coordinated fashion.”
“We are proving again and again that when locals and members are united at the table, we have the ability to win record-breaking contracts and make gains across the board,” Erickson said. “I want to thank lead negotiators Terry Constant, Jeff Sperring, and Todd Lince along with all the other local leaders who helped build solidarity throughout the bargaining process and every member who stayed engaged and took part in negotiations.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking men and women in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit Teamster.org for more. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/teamsters.