Kroger Union Workers Vote to Reject Contract, Authorize StrikePosted: Updated:
Unionized Kroger employees could soon be hitting the picket lines. Wednesday thousands of Kroger employees rejected the grocery giant's latest contract offer and voted to authorize a strike.
The unanimous vote happened during a union meeting at the civic center in Salem, Virginia.
Around 3,000 workers are involved in the action. The rank and file includes workers from stores in Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Waynesboro, and Harrisonburg.
Workers say the contract issues center on Kroger corporate offering low wages, no sick pay, and revoking retiree health benefits.
"With increasing our insurance as well as some of the other things, it makes it hard for people who are living paycheck to paycheck," said Sarah Williams, of the union bargaining board.
Workers at 41 stores in Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee will continue to work under a temporary extended contract that expires on June 4.
Bargaining committees from both sides are scheduled to meet for renegotiation May 23 and 24. It is possible Kroger employees could strike next month, depending on the outcome of the renegotiation.