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Kroger Atlanta workers OK new deal

Atlanta and Savannah, Ga.-area Kroger members from United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1996 ratified a new three-year contract that will phase out insurance coverage for spouses.


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The new contract is retroactive from March 16, and expires on March 18, 2017. The agreement includes wage increases over the course of the agreement, affordable healthcare, and secures pension funds for workers, the Cincinnati-based retailer said. The contract covers 23,600 workers across 163 stores in Atlanta and 12 in Savannah.

Workers last month voted to reject an initial contract offer from Kroger. Local 1996 president Steve Lomax in a letter to workers said increased costs resulting from how the Affordable Care Act treats Taft-Hartley plans resulted in "hard choices" for the union. Given the choice of either discontinuing coverage for members who worked less than 30 hours a week or discontinuing spousal coverage under the plan, the union ultimately selected the latter, with spousal coverage to end by the end of the year.

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