Kroger and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 75 announced a new contract Friday that will boost starting pay in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton.
The three-year deal is the first contract ratified under “Restock Kroger,” Kroger’s plan to turn itself around in the wake of intensified competition from Amazon. Kroger plans to spend an extra $500 million nationwide on employee wages, training and development over the next three years.
“Kroger is a place where you can come for a job and stay for a career. A key driver of Restock Kroger is talent development and we are committed to investing in our associates,” said Tim Massa, group vice president of human resources and labor relations. “It’s only fitting that we begin our accelerated wage investments in Cincinnati, where Kroger was founded 135 years ago.”
The Cincinnati/Dayton division agreement raises starting wages to at least $10 per hour (up from Ohio’s minimum wage of $8.30) and accelerates wage progressions to $11 an hour after one year of service. It also includes a premium increase for night shift work.
The Local 75 contract covers nearly 20,000 associates working at 109 stores in Greater Cincinnati, Dayton, Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana. The pact covers more than 12,000 workers in the Cincinnati metropolitan region.
“UFCW Local 75 strives to negotiate contracts that secure better wages and affordable benefits, providing a voice for hard-working men and women and strengthening our communities and this contract does those important things,” said Kevin Garvey, president, UFCW 75.
“This new contract provides significant pay increases, affordable Kroger-sponsored health care, and continued investments in our associates’ pension fund to support their retirement,” said Tim Brown, president of Kroger’s Cincinnati/Dayton division. “This agreement comes after thoughtful and productive work by both the company and union bargaining committees. I want to thank our associates for supporting this agreement and for the excellent service they provide to our customers every day.”