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UFCW Statement on Proposed Kroger-Albertsons Merger

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery stores, meatpacking plants, and other essential industries across North America, released the following statement on proposed merger between Kroger and Albertsons, two of UFCW’s largest employers.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“The proposed merger between Kroger and Albertsons has serious implications for hundreds of thousands of our UFCW members and America’s families who are more concerned than ever about inflation’s impact on the price of their food and groceries, prescription drugs, and gas. As America’s largest union of essential workers, protecting the livelihoods of this nation’s grocery workers, union and non-union, is our highest priority.

“Given the national impact such a merger would have, the UFCW and our Local Unions are discussing this and will stand together to prioritize the best interests of our members, their families, and the communities they proudly serve.

“To be clear, the UFCW will oppose any merger that threatens the jobs of America’s essential workers, union and non-union, and undermines our communities.” 

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States. UFCW International represents 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.

UFCW Local 700 Members Approve New Contract with Kroger for South Bend Stores

Your UFCW Local 700 Union Negotiating Committee is proud to announce that members have approved a new, three-year contract with Kroger; the proposed contract covers about 800 workers at nine stores in the South Bend area.

The new contract includes:

  • Guaranteed pay raises and ratification bonuses
    • Pay raises are effective three weeks following ratification
  • Affordable, quality health care for you and your families
    • Weekly co-premium will increase by only $1 per week in 2025 
  • Retirement security through UFCW Consolidated Pension and VAPP plans
    • Defined benefit pension extended to a new group of workers 
  • Language improvements include better provisions for earning holidays and holiday pay, greater flexibility for vacation, and additional non- discrimination language

Special thanks to our members serving on the Union Negotiating Committee:
Mike Alvarez, Kroger 966
Katt Batman, Kroger 889
Lisa Bogue, Kroger 963
Julie Bolton, Kroger 915
Kyle Dooley, Kroger 886
Ninfa Garza, Kroger 903
Samantha Griffin, Kroger 879
Patrick Harlan, Kroger 901
Mariann Taft, Kroger 938

Tracy Bartak Sworn in as President of UFCW Local 700

Dear Brothers and Sisters of UFCW Local 700:

I want to thank former UFCW Local 700 President Joe Chorpenning for almost 37 years of dedication to the members of UFCW. Joe spent his career fighting for our members and working to uplift all hardworking families. During his career, Joe built strong Local unions and a better future for all UFCW members. He used his experience to build a bigger, better, stronger union.

Today, the Executive Board selected me to succeed Joe; I am honored to continue this work.

Together, we increased the size of our union and made it stronger. Because we worked together, members approved strong contracts, raised pay, and protected the health care and pension benefits that you’ve earned and deserve. Working together is how we were able to expand our members-only benefits programs and become an early adopter of the free college program. It’s why we were able to organize new members in several industries. All of that means that our members and their families can have a better life.

I will put my experience to work for our members. I’ve been a Union Representative in both retail and in plants and have negotiated major contracts in both of those industries. During my career at UFCW, I’ve also worked on organizing campaigns. Prior to working at UFCW, I worked on the administrative side of both health care and pension funds. 

We will work together with an eye toward the future. Solid contracts. Long term stability for our union. Continuing to find new and innovative ways to serve our members in the workplace. Developing additional members only benefit programs.  Growing our union by organizing new members. 

I appreciate the opportunity to serve with you and for you, and look forward to building a bigger, better, stronger union together.

In solidarity,

Tracy Bartak

Tracy Bartak takes the oath of office.

Joe Chorpenning Announces Retirement from UFCW Local 700

Dear Brothers and Sisters of UFCW Local 700: 

It has been an honor to spend my career serving the members of UFCW. For nearly 37 years, I have been privileged to work as an Organizer, Organizing Director, and Business Agent; as President of UFCW Local 700 since 2006; and as an International Vice President since 2012.

I’m proud of the work we’ve done at Local 700, because together we have created a better future for our members. We won strong contracts, lifted starting pay, expanded members-only benefits, added Stewards, and organized new members. We protected health care and pension benefits for thousands of members. The Heartland Health and Wellness Fund is one of the largest UFCW health care funds in the country. For members in plants, we ensured that members and their families have access to care. We were a founding local of the UFCW Consolidated Pension; Meat Department members approved an historic agreement to secure that pension. We work to be an industry leader in pension benefits for members in packing and processing facilities.

Our members do the hard work of serving our community every day, making and selling the food and essentials that ends up in households across the country. Our members deserve a big, strong union that can build upon what we have achieved in the past to meet the challenges of the future; with negotiating power to uplift their families and provide a good life; and that fights tirelessly every single day. 

I am grateful to have fought alongside you for nearly four decades but am taking the next step in my journey; I retired effective August 27, 2022. I’m looking forward to supporting you in all the ways that you’ll continue to build better lives for the members of UFCW Local 700.

In solidarity,

Joe Chorpenning

UFCW Local 700, Kroger Reach Tentative Agreement for South Bend Contract

Your UFCW Local 700 Union Negotiating Committee is proud to announce that we’ve reached a tentative agreement with Kroger for a new, three-year contract; the proposed contract covers about 800 workers at nine stores in the South Bend area.

YOUR UNION NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE, OFFICERS, AND STAFF RECOMMEND A YES VOTE TO APPROVE THE PROPOSED CONTRACT.

The new contract includes:

  • Guaranteed pay raises and ratification bonuses
    • Pay raises are effective three weeks following ratification
  • Affordable, quality health care for you and your families
    • Weekly co-premium will increase by only $1 per week in 2025
  • Retirement security through UFCW Consolidated Pension and VAPP plans
    • Defined benefit pension extended to a new group of workers
  • Language improvements include better provisions for earning holidays and holiday pay, greater flexibility for vacation, and stronger non-discrimination language

Union Representatives and Negotiating Committee Members will be in stores to discuss details of the proposed contract and answer questions. Voting will take place on Friday, September 30.

A full schedule for voting will be available on our website at www.ufcw700.org.

UFCW700 – Kroger Begin Negotiations for South Bend Contract

The contract between UFCW Local 700 and Kroger South Bend expires on October 6, 2022; it covers about 800 workers in 9 stores. We began negotiations today.

Your UFCW Local 700 Union Bargaining Committee is comprised of Union leaders and representatives, and a group of members working in South Bend stores. We will be negotiating pay and work rules (contract language). Your health care coverage is negotiated as part of the Indianapolis Kroger contract; that new contract protects affordable, quality health care for Kroger workers and your families. The agreement governing the pension for members in the Consolidated Fund was recently renewed through 2024. Meat Department members in the National Pension Fund are covered in an agreement through 2028.

We spoke mostly today about marketshare and noneconomic issues. As we continue in negotiations, we remain committed to raising pay, improving contract language, and creating more opportunity for you.

Should you have any questions or want further information, please contact your Union Representative.

UFCW Local 700 Members Approve New Ft. Wayne Kroger Contract

Members of UFCW Local 700 have approved a new three-year contract with Kroger; the proposed contract covers about 2,600 workers at 22 stores in the Ft. Wayne area. The contract was approved by 72% of those voting in favor.

The new contract includes:

  • Guaranteed pay raises and ratification bonuses
    • Pay raises are retroactive to August 7, 2022, and in addition to the $.30-$2.50 increases that took effect in October 2021
  • Affordable, quality health care for you and your families
    • Weekly co-premium will increase by only $1 per week in 2025
  • Retirement security through UFCW Consolidated Pension and VAPP plans
    • Defined benefit pension extended to a new group of workers
  • Language improvements include one additional personal day, greater flexibility for vacation, and additional non-discrimination language

Special thanks to the union members serving on the Negotiations Committee; we appreciate your time, efforts, and thoughtful consideration of contract issues and proposals throughout this process:

Randy Farler, Kroger 405 (Meat)
Mary Ann King, Kroger 929 (Floral)
Debrah Kroterfield, Kroger 990 (File Clerk)
Peggy Lee, Kroger 857 (Cashier)
Sherry Miner, Kroger 837 (Pick up/E-commerce)
Ron Tinney, Kroger 973 (DSD)
Carol Zigl, Kroger 414 (Cashier)

Should you have any questions or desire further information, please contact your Union Representative.

Union Announces Ft. Wayne Kroger Contract Vote Schedule

Union Representatives and Negotiating Committee Members will be in stores to discuss details of the proposed contract and answer questions. Voting will take place on Thurs., August 18, and Fri., August 19.


Union Officers, Staff, and Negotiating Committee recommend a YES VOTE TO APPROVE the proposed contract.

Only union members may vote on the contract. Members may vote in the time and location most convenient for you.