MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. — Workers at 17 Kroger stores in the Flint and Saginaw, Mich., areas rejected a labor contract offer from Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. last week, the union said.
The vote also authorized the two union locals, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 876, based here, and UFCW Local 951, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., to call a strike. The contract covers about 1,900 workers employed at former Kessel stores that Kroger had acquired in 2000.
The union said workers are are "unsatisfied" with proposed pay rates, wage freezes and health insurance costs. The current contract extension is set to expire Tuesday.
"Kroger can afford to compensate their employees fairly, but have chosen to try to use Michigan's economic woes to bully their workers into accepting much less than they deserve," Roger Robinson, Local 876's president, said in a prepared statement.