Today, all the union employees gathered to protest the company’s plan to change healthcare benefits; The chain says reviews are essential at the moment. In this regard, one of the employees at the Kroger who took part in the protest stated that after more than a year working as a frontline employee at Kroger during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuart Martin is now concerned that his health care benefits could soon be condensed.
Furthermore, Martin who is working at Kroger is concerned about a proposal by Kroger Co., the largest traditional retailer in the United States. To change its healthcare plan for 3,100 workers in 21 stores in the Richmond and Hampton Roads area. Further, he said that workers are at greater risk of exposure to the COVID-19 delta. “We are the only ones out there serving the whole world and we are concerned about our health”
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While the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, which represents Kroger employees, and the company have been in negotiations since June. Over a new employment contract affecting workers in those stores that include the new health care proposal. However, the current contract expires on August 7. In addition, all the Kroger workers gathered outside the chain store on the Stonebridge mixed-use development off Midlothian Turnpike near Chippenham Parkway in Chesterfield County in a demonstration to protest proposed changes to the health care plan. The union has organized a series of demonstrations in the Kroger area since mid-July and plans to do so next week.
In this regard, the union says the changes proposed by Kroger will eventually result in workers having little say in their health care coverage and having to pay more in health care costs. “Kroger wants to force everyone into a company health care plan that would be a disaster for our members,” Mark Federici, President of UFCW Local 400, said in a statement. Kroger can eliminate benefits or raise costs at any time without our input. This is no way to deal with the heroes who keep coming to work during the pandemic to keep these stores running.”