KROGER LOUISVILLE WORKERS OK 4-YEAR CONTRACT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — More than 11,000 employees of 87 Kroger stores represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 227 here have voted to approve a new four-year contract, the Cincinnati-based retailer said last week. “This agreement provides wage increases and affordable quality health care benefits for our employees and their families and keeps Kroger competitive in the marketplace,” John Hackett, president of Kroger's Mid-South division here, said in a statement. According to Local 227, the deal provides for 2% annual wage increases and a pension plan fully funded by Kroger for all workers. The contract is effective immediately and replaces an old deal that was to have expired March 29.
UNITED NATURAL TO OPEN LARGEST WAREHOUSE
YORK, Pa. — United Natural Foods said it will lease a new warehouse facility here encompassing 675,000 square feet, replacing an existing facility in New Oxford, Pa. The warehouse, which will be the largest of United's 21 distribution centers, will serve retailers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. The Dayville, Conn.-based company said it will seek LEED certification for the facility.
NASH FINCH REACHES NEW LENDING AGREEMENT
MINNEAPOLIS — Nash Finch has reached a $300 million revolving credit agreement, the distributor here said in a government filing. The company said it had already borrowed $178 million to pay off an outstanding credit facility from 2004. The new agreement is collateralized by a first priority security interest in all real and personal property of the company, including its equity interests and real estate. Bank of America heads a syndicate of lenders.
SAVE-ON-FOOD MEMBERS VOTE TO OK STRIKE
BURNABY, British Columbia — United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1518 said its members have voted to walk out if union leaders call a strike against Save-On-Food stores. Local 1518 previously voted to take similar action at Safeway. The union is negotiating with the retailers on a new contract to replace the one that expired March 29. Save-On-Food is owned and operated by Overwaitea, Vancouver. Negotiations with Overwaitea are scheduled to continue through April 21. New talks with Safeway are scheduled for May 1.
TRADER JOE'S PARTNERS WITH L.A. SPARKS OF WNBA
MONROVIA, Calif. — Trader Joe's here has signed a multi-year agreement with the Los Angeles Sparks — a member of the Women's National Basketball Association — to become one of its “Champion Partners,” the highest level of team sponsorship. The agreement includes signage at Staples Center and a “Trader Joe's Night” at a Sparks home game.
RETAILERS JOIN ‘BE FOOD SAFE’ CAMPAIGN
WASHINGTON — Nearly 40 retailers are providing their customers with food safety information and tips through the “Be Food Safe” campaign launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Partnership for Food Safety Education, officials said. Be Food Safe utilizes colorful, modular icons and photography to illustrate basic safe food-handling practices. Retailers using these icons for display in stores, and in other forms of customer outreach, are helping to restore confidence in the food supply, which surveys show has dropped despite a reduction in the overall rate of foodborne illnesses, according to Shelley Feist, executive director of the PFSE.