Kroger Contract Negotiations Updates – 2021

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Update: 4/16/2021:

Your union bargaining committee met with Kroger on Thursday, April 15th, continuing negotiations for the new contracts for Atlanta and Savannah. This bargaining session was very productive, and your bargaining committee continued to discuss many topics with the company.

In this meeting, additional proposals were exchanged around topics that affect members’ working conditions, especially as we consider the long-lasting impacts of the pandemic, and an ever-changing industry. During the meeting, the bargaining committee was able to discuss the majority of the contract language items raised by the membership.  We are committed to making sure we address the topics raised by membership and bargain a thorough contract for our members that addresses all needs of the membership.

This is one meeting in the bargaining process that will take several meetings to work through all the ideas and items that Kroger and your bargaining committee need to discuss. You can read more about the bargaining process here. The next meeting date is still being discussed.

If you have any questions about the bargaining process, please reach out to:
Eric Taylor, Director of Collective Bargaining at (678) 714-3492 or;
Maria Davenport, Retail Servicing Director at (678) 714-3538.

You can also submit a question about the process by filling out the form on this webpage. We will post regular updates on our website. You can have them delivered directly to your email by signing up here.

Update: 4/9/2021:
Bargaining is underway for the Atlanta and Savannah Contracts!

Your union bargaining committee met Thursday, April 8th, to begin negotiations for the new contracts for Atlanta and Savannah. In this first meeting, the members of your bargaining committee had the opportunity to meet the Kroger negotiating team and set the expectations and process for bargaining moving forward.

Most of the meeting was spent exchanging proposals, sharing ideas and having a question-and-answer session between the UFCW Local 1996 bargaining committee and the Kroger company.

This is the first step in the bargaining process that will take several meetings to work through all the ideas and items that Kroger and your bargaining committee need to discuss. The next meeting is set for April 15th, 2021.

If you have any questions about the bargaining process, please reach out to:
Eric Taylor, Director of Collective Bargaining at (678) 714-3492 or;
Maria Davenport, Retail Servicing Director at (678) 714-3538.

You can also submit a question about the process by filling out the form on this webpage. We will post regular updates on our website. You can have them delivered directly to your email by signing up here.

Update: 4/6/2021:

UFCW Local 1996 will be meeting with the Kroger Company to begin discussions on the Kroger Atlanta and Savannah contracts on Thursday April 8th, 2021!

At this meeting, your union bargaining committee will hear updates from Kroger on the state of the industry and discuss ideas and thoughts presented by the membership for the new contracts.

We are excited to begin this process and remain focused on bargaining a thorough contract that addresses the needs of members under the Atlanta and Savannah Contracts.

Many items come up for discussion during contract negotiations. Remember that while an item may be up for discussion, any changes or updates will not be official until they are agreed to by both the union and the company and ratified by the membership.

During this process, we will vigilantly work to ensure a thorough and comprehensive bargaining process, addressing all topics important to our membership like wages, healthcare benefits and working conditions.

Both our Atlanta and Savannah contracts are currently under an extension, and the terms of those contracts will remain in place until new contracts are bargained.

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Update: 3/16/2021

Kroger Membership Update: UFCW Local 1996 and Kroger Agree to a Contract Extension

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on contract negotiations, UFCW Local 1996 and Kroger have agreed to a contract extension for both the Atlanta and Savannah contracts in order to allow for adequate time for a thoughtful and thorough bargaining of your contract by the Union Bargaining Committee.

The contracts expire March 20th, 2021. However, when there is a contract extension, such as in this situation, our current contracts remain in place until we are done with the new agreement.

Restrictions implemented around the pandemic from the CDC, hotel and meeting space restrictions and safety guidelines under the State of Georgia’s executive orders, make scheduling in-person meetings challenging. This along with a limited vaccine supply and rollout in the state of Georgia means these restrictions will continue for the foreseeable future.

Because of restrictions, UFCW Local 1996 and the Kroger company will likely start negotiations using a virtual meetings platform and transitioning into in-person meetings when safety restrictions allow.

The pandemic has changed many practices for many organizations and businesses. We do not want this changing landscape to rush us into an agreement. Negotiating the best possible contract for our members is the priority. For that reason, the Union has agreed to the extension of both the Atlanta and Savannah agreements.

Update: 2/9/2021

A special called meeting was announced in October of 2020 to select your Bargaining Committee in November of 2020. The UFCW Local 1996 Kroger Bargaining Committee was selected and proposals from the membership reviewed. No negotiation meetings have yet been scheduled, and no negotiations have taken place.  We will update this page as soon as meetings are scheduled!

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An Overview of Contract Negotiations

Contract Negotiations between Kroger and UFCW Local 1996 for the Atlanta and Savannah Collective Bargaining Agreements  2021.

What is a contract?
A contract is simply the rules and conditions of your employment. Everything from wages to safety to work hours is negotiated between your Union and the Company.

Why do we negotiate contracts every 3-4 years?
Because they need to be updated! Whether it’s pay changes or adjusting the language in the contract to deal with changing work environments or laws, contracts need to be revisited and updated regularly.

How does this process work exactly?
First, Your Bargaining Committee is Formed.
Negotiations are all about the Union advocating for its members and making sure the concerns of its members are heard at the bargaining table. In November 2020, there was a meeting to elect your Bargaining Committee. This is a group of your peers, Union members, who work at Kroger and represent most departments, and every area represented by the Atlanta and Savannah Collective Bargaining Agreements! During the November meetings where your bargaining committee was selected, members from across the state also submitted proposals to be discussed in contract negotiations.

Then, The Union and The Company meet:
During these meetings, the Union and the Company swap proposals. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this will likely be done using videoconferencing so the entire Bargaining Committee can participate.

The Union and the Company negotiate economic proposals (things like wages and healthcare benefits) and things that are not economic (like working conditions). The Union will inform the membership about upcoming meetings, but we cannot promise what the company will agree to. We will not be able to give specific updates because of this. Negotiations are a work in progress , so we cannot release any information on proposals until we have reached a “Tentative Agreement”.

When the Union and the Company Agree, We Have a “Tentative Agreement”
This agreement is “tentative” because the final decision comes from you, the members of UFCW Local 1996. You will have a chance to review the tentative agreement on our website and at your store. Only members of the Union will have the opportunity to vote on the tentative agreement,  once it is reached.

The Final Step: Contract Ratification
If the members vote to approve the contract, it will be ratified. Please note that only members of UFCW Local 1996 can vote on this contract. Remember, our goal is to have a contract that reflects the priorities of UFCW Local 1996’s members and their needs. Please reach out to us if you have questions about contract negotiations! Only trust information from official sources for negotiation updates.