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UFCW LOCAL 536 - a VOICE for Working Central Illinois

Kroger Negotiation updates

{3-14-18}– Both the Kroger Meat tentative agreement and Kroger Clerk tentative agreement passed and were ratified by the Membership.

{3-5-18}– UFCW Local 536 and the Kroger Company have reached a tentative agreement on both the Retail Clerk and Meat Department Collective Bargaining Agreements. A Membership ratification vote is in order. Both of the tentative agreements will be voted on by the membership at the locations and times listed below. You may come to vote at any meeting or location.

The ballot box will be sealed at the end of the voting sessions in Bloomington. There will be no voting between meeting times and no absentee voting. Please make every effort to come and vote.

Bloomington/Normal – Lincoln

Place: Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 99 – 406 El Dorado Road Bloomington, IL

Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Times: Anytime between 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Peoria and Surrounding Area Stores

Place: UFCW Local 536 Office – 101 Grant Rd. Marquette Heights, IL

Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Times: Anytime between 8:00 am to 7:00 pm


{2-23-18}– The UFCW Local 536 and the Kroger Company continue to meet for negotiations. At this time a subcommittee made up of a smaller number of Members from the bargaining committee are working to resolve the outstanding issues. Kroger’s and the UFCW will continue meeting next week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

{2-14-18} – The UFCW Local 536 and the Kroger Company will meet for negotiations on February 21, 2018, February 22, 2018, and February 23, 2018.

{12-1-17}– The next negotiation sessions between the UFCW Local 536 and the Kroger Company have been scheduled for the following dates: January 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 2018.

{7-20-17}– As you know on Friday, July 14, 2017, The Kroger Company presented what the called “Best Offer to Settle” to the Local 536 bargaining team and demanded it be voted on or by July 22, 2017. This offer included moving from the Midwest Health Fund to a Company Health Plan. In this Plan, many employees will lose health coverage due to the hours eligibility requirement. The required hours also increases in the second year of the proposed offer. Also, many spouses of employees may lose coverage for the same reason. Yearly deductibles and out-of pockets are higher than the current Midwest Plan. Weekly co-pays increase each year of the proposed plan. Dental and vision coverage is optional at an added co-pay for each.

At this time Local 536 has submitted a request asking for more information about the Company Health Plan to analyze more thoroughly the affect it may have on the employees. Until this information is received, studied, and the Union leadership and bargaining committee decides on the best course of action concerning an agreement as a whole; there will be no ratification vote on this “Best Offer to Settle”.

I know this offer includes what Kroger has termed as significant wage increases, but what will you be giving back by increased co-pays, lower coverage and possible loss of coverage. The Local wants to bring a tentative agreement to the membership to vote on that will be the best for the entire group of employees. This “Best Offer to Settle” is not the answer.

We will have extra union representatives from the Region 6 office visiting stores. Please talk to them and voice your thoughts or questions. They report back daily to the Local 536′ Union President.

In addition, if you have comments or concerns feel free to contact Local 536 by email at ufcw536@mtco.com or by phone 309-686-0304.

{7-14-17}– On Friday, July 14, 2017, UFCW Local 536 met with Kroger negotiators. The Kroger Company responded to the UFCW Local 536 proposals and then presented to the Union a best offer to settle for the bargaining team to consider. The bargaining team determined that more time is needed to analyse those proposals that were submitted to UFCW Local 536.

{7-13-17}– On Wednesday, July 12, 2017, UFCW Local 536 met with Kroger negotiators. The UFCW Local 536 gave responses to the Kroger negotiators concerning their proposed modifications to the current Agreement. The Kroger negotiators asked the UFCW negotiators for an updated Union proposal for the Kroger Company to review . Negotiations for Thursday, July 13, 2017 were cancelled in order to give negotiators of UFCW Local 536 the needed time to put these proposals together. Next negotiations are set to resume on Friday, July 14, 2017.

{7-10-17}– On Friday, July 7, 2017, UFCW Local 536 met with Kroger negotiators for the purpose of renewing the Clerk and Meat Collective Bargaining Agreements. In the mid- afternoon, the Company presented a comprehensive proposal that included moving to a company health plan, raises in most pay brackets, raising premium pays, taking away time and one-half over 32 hours on a holiday week, eliminating a seniority group, merging the two contracts into one, and capping vacations for employees hired after January 1, 2018.

The Union did not respond to this proposal at this meeting. The committee is working on a response. The parties will meet again on July 12th, 13th, and 14th.

We are told that the Company has made this proposal available to the employees upon request. Please notify this office if you have any comments or concerns.

{7-3-17}– The UFCW Local 536 met again with negotiators from the Kroger Company for the purpose of renewing the Clerk & Meat agreements on Friday, June 30, 2017. This was the 2nd meeting of the parties. At this meeting the Company presented a health plan for the Union to examine. The Company has said that “staying in the Midwest Health Fund is no longer doable” due to the high hourly rate of the plan, low participation in the plan, and high administration cost of the plan. The Company stated, the plan presented, has lower administration costs and is a more stable plan due to higher participation in the plan.

After looking at the Plan presented; the Union asked questions about the plan and these questions were answered. The Union also requested more information from the Company on average employee hours in the affected area which was submitted by the Company.

At the end of the day, the Union responded that it needs time to thoroughly examine the health plan and will possibly then have more questions for the Company at that time. The Company responded that they will be prepared to furnish a wage package possibly at the next meeting.

The next meetings are scheduled for July 6, 2017 & July 7, 2017.


{6-29-17}– The UFCW Local 536 met with Kroger negotiators on Thursday, June 29, to work on the renewal of Clerk agreement and the Meat agreement. Both agreements expired on June 24, 2017 and both agreements are under an extension until July 22, 2017.

The UFCW Local 536 presented to the Company our proposed modifications to both agreements. The Company responded; rejecting most proposals.

In the afternoon, the Company submitted to the Union their offer on the clerk agreement, which contained almost entirely of concessions. The Company did not include a health insurance or a wage proposal at this time.

The next meeting will be Friday, June 30, 2017. It is expected that the Company will submit a proposal on health care at that meeting.


{6-19-17} – The UFCW Local 536 and the Kroger Company met on June 6, 2017. This was a meet and greet meeting. The Kroger Company introduced a presentation that gave information concerning the grocery industry. No formal proposal were introduced at this meeting. The UFCW Local 536 and Kroger have agreed to begin negotiations on the following dates: June 29, 2017, June 30, 2017, July 6, 2017, July 7, 2017, July 12, 2017, July 13, 2017, and July 14, 2017.


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