Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Kroger Workers Forgo Bonus Plan to Save Jobs

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Kroger Workers Forgo Bonus Plan to Save Jobs

Article excerpt

Kroger workers forgo bonus plan to save jobs

Employees of 40 Kroger Co. stores in Southwestern Virginia and Tennessee accepted a wage cut, averting the planned closing of 13 of the stores. In proposing the closing, Kroger had called for a wage freeze and a new bonus system at the stores that would have remained open, but the members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 278 chose to forgo the bonus plan and take the pay cut to save the jobs at the stores scheduled to close.

The pay cut was $1 an hour for top-rated grocery clerks, who formerly earned $9.71, and 90 cents for meat department heads (formerly $11.43 to $11.74) and top-rated meatcutters (formerly $10.74). The cut will be partly restored when the 3,200 employees receive a 25-cent-an-hour pay increase in November 1987 and a 37-cent increase in November 1988.

Another cost-reducing provision of the 34-month contract was elimination of various job classifications in the meat department, resulting in only a few groupings: full-time or part-time employees and department heads.

Kroger also offered meatcutters inducements to quit their jobs by December 27, 1986: $12,000 for those with more than 12 years' service and $10,000 for others. Similarly, all clerks at top pay rates (attained after 3 years' service) were offered a $10,000 departure payment.

Elsewhere, Kroger negotiated a pay cut with the UFCW for 2,500 employees of 28 stores in the Dayton, OH, area. …

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