Kroger update: Grocery company details proposed pay increases for Columbus workers

For now, workers continue reporting to jobs

Kroger employees at Columbus-area stores are continuing to work after a union voted to authorize a strike against the company last week.

Kroger Corporate Affairs Manager Amy McCormick said Friday that if a strike occurs, it would not hit the Miami Valley.

“Stores in Dayton and Springfield would not be impacted,” she told this news outlet. “This is Columbus area/Central Ohio only.”

On Saturday, the company released new details on its contract offer to its Columbus-area workers.

Kroger said it offered wage increases up to $1.80 per hour through the life of the contract for “top rate associates, based on job classification and tenure.”

A starting rate of pay would rise to $14.25 per hour, with ratification bonuses for active employees, Kroger said — $2,500 for department heads, assistant department heads, and full-time top rate workers.

Department leaders and assistant department leaders would receive an additional 35 cents an hour in February 2023, the company also said.

Kroger said the offer would have meant a full-time cashier with five years of experience would see the following increases, from a current wage of $17.10 an hour — this year, $17.75; in 2023, $18.25; in 2024, $18.90.

“At Kroger, we want what is right for our associates, more money in their paychecks, continuing to provide industry-leading health care benefits and balancing that investment with keeping groceries affordable,” Dana Zurcher, Kroger Columbus-area president, said in the statement.

Members of Local 1059 of the United Food and Commercial Workers voted against a contract offer last week and authorized a strike. Both Kroger and the union have said workers will continue reporting to work.

Of the 6,719 members who voted on the tentative agreement on Sept. 13, 14 and 15, 55% rejected it and 81% voted to authorize a strike, the union has said.

“The membership has authorized a strike but a strike has not been called at this time,” Local 1059 President Randy Quickel said in a statement Friday. “All members are continuing to work.”

“We have reached out to the Kroger Co. to see if they’re willing to meet,” he added.

A message was left for Quickel Monday.

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