UFCW 951 and Kroger Begin Contract Bargaining

May 8, 2024


GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 951 announced today that negotiations have begun with Kroger for a new contract, protecting more than 1,000 essential grocery workers across the state.

Contract bargaining for a new deal began in late April at UFCW 951 headquarters in Kentwood, MI, as the current contract expires on June 15, 2024.  The bargaining committee is made up of Kroger workers from the 10 stores UFCW 951 represents in mid-Michigan.

“As we begin negotiations, we have made it very clear to Kroger we want a strong contract for our members,” said Courtney Phillips, UFCW 951 secretary/treasurer and chief negotiator for the talks. “Kroger made record profits during the pandemic, and the company continues to bring in billions of dollars in earnings every year. Those big profits are the direct result of the hard work being done every day by its frontline workers in the stores and they deserve better wages.”

The most important issue Kroger members are focused on in the new contract is wage increases.

“We need better wages in the next contract,” said Angelo Adams, from Kroger #852 in East Lansing. “I need more due to the high cost of living. We can barely afford our rent. Make working here worth it.”

Earlier this year, contract talks between Kroger and two other UFCW locals in the U.S. were contentious, with each nearly resulting in strikes before a deal was finally reached. Currently, Kroger is focused on purchasing Albertson’s, a $24.6 billion deal which would create a megamerger between the two largest supermarkets in the country.

“During our negotiations, Kroger leadership needs to be completely focused on what is most important and that is not the merger,” said Phillips. “During the talks, Kroger should only be focused on how valuable its employees are to the company and paying them a fair wage in this new contract.”

UFCW 951 is a progressive labor union representing over 29,000 workers across Michigan in a variety of industries including grocery, retail, food processing, pharmacy, and cannabis, who are employed at a variety of companies including Meijer, Kroger, Rite Aid, JBS, JLL, Knouse Foods, Polly’s, Harding’s, and Grandville Roasting & Packaging Plant. The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States representing over 1.3 million UFCW members nationwide and UFCW 951 is the largest private sector union in Michigan.