Dear Hiller's Market Member:
We are pleased to present to you the final agreement reached between UFCW 876 and The Kroger Company, please see attached. Although we fully understand the stress and uncertainty during this transition, UFCW 876 could not issue any statement of agreement as one had not been reached until Monday, June 15, 2015 at 6 p.m.
During this time, UFCW 876 worked tirelessly to secure the best package possible; one that maintains the maximum amount of protections and benefits Hiller's Market members have earned throughout their careers. The agreement you see here is not the first offer provided to the union. The correlation of benefits, (wage tables, pension contributions and health care qualifiers) between the two contracts required careful examination and review in order to formulate a fair and balanced result for all members making the transition.
Your union contract provides a written guarantee that each "...employer recognizes the union (UFCW 876) as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of all employees of the employer..." This means your collective bargaining strength continues during this transition to a new banner, see Article 2 - Coverage, in both the Hiller's Market and The Kroger Company contracts.
That being said, UFCW 876 is confident you will find this agreement to be fair and balanced in that it will provide the continued protections and benefits Hiller's Market members have earned. Experience gained from past acquisitions has provided UFCW 876 with the working knowledge to proceed with caution despite turbulent and sometimes swift circumstances.
Letter of Understanding Between The Kroger Company and UFCW 876 & Hiller's Markets, Kroger Proposal -June 15, 2015; 6:00 p.m.
Letter of Understanding (LOU) Between The Kroger Company & UFCW 876
Re: Hiller's Acquisition
On July 7, 2015, Kroger purchased the assets of Hiller's, including seven grocery retail stores located at:
- 1545 Haggerty Road, Plymouth, Ml 48170
- 6433 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield, Ml 48322
- 39950 West 14 Mile Road, Commerce Township, Ml 48390
- 3010 Union Lake Road, Union Lake, Ml 48382
- 3615 Washtenaw, Ann Arbor, Ml 48104
- 51847 Ten Mile Road, South Lyon, M148178
- 425 North Center, Northville, Ml 48167
On or about June 29, 2015 Kroger will assume management of the above stores and operate six of those stores. The Union Lake Roadstore has been identified as a location that will notreopen. The timing of the various stores reopening under the Kroger banner will vary due to remodeling and other operational requirements. To staff those six stores, Kroger is offering and intends to hire a majority of the hourly employees who previously worked at those same locations for Hiller's, most of whom were represented by the UFCW Local 876.
The parties agree that all employees who will be working for Kroger at the six former Hiller's locations will be covered by the current collective bargaining agreement between Kroger and UFCW 876 covering the Detroit Metro Area (the "Kroger CBA'). All Kroger CBA terms and conditions shall apply to their employment. However, the following conditions apply to associates who were working for Hiller's at the time of the acquisition:
1. The employee's seniority date shall be the date of hire by Kroger. All previous Hiller's employees hired as full-time or part-time at Hiller's acquisition stores, hired within thirty (30) days of acquisition, shall be given a date of hire of June 30, 2015. It is understood
that the Employer has sole discretion on the appointment of Department Heads.
a. Scheduling - Hiller's associates with other Hiller's associates, their adjusted date will determine their seniority. When scheduling with other Kroger associates their Kroger hire date will be used. Kroger associates will not be permitted to transfer for maximization of hours, energy clause, etc ., during the first one hundred and eighty (180) days the store is opened for business.
b. Non-bargaining workers can assist in the opening of the store for the first one hundred and eighty (180) days of business. It is not the intention of this section to reduce the number of hours of the bargaining unit when the Employer exercises the flexibility provided by this provision.
c. Employees who are hired by Kroger shall have a ninety (90) day probationary period from their date of hire.
d. To afford the Company the ability to transition acquired stores to successful operations as quickly as possible, and utilize associates efficiently, the Union agrees to a waiver of grievances challenging assignments, transfers, and other aspects of hourly and management work for the first one hundred and eighty (180) days following the date of the acquisition. After such waiver period, the terms of the Detroit Metro contract regarding such provisions shall be enforced and violations subject to the grievance procedure.
e. Current Northville associates will have first choice to return to the Northville store at 425 N. Center Street after it reopens. If the store opening is unduly delayed, the provisions in numbers two (2) and three (3) below may be extended by mutual agreement.
2. Any employee who previously worked for Hiller's at the time of the acquisition and is hired by Kroger (within ninety (90) days of acquisition) will be given credit for adjusted service date with Hiller's in determining number of weeks' vacation, number of holidays
and supplemental days effective 1/1/16 with the following guidelines:
a. Hiller's employees will be entitled to the Kroger vacation schedule based on their adjusted service date, up to four (4) weeks max mum. After five (5) years of service with Kroger, employees will be allowed five (5) weeks of vacation if their adjusted service date is eighteen (18) years or more.
b. Part-time employees will be capped at two (2) weeks' vacation after one (1) year of service.
c. Supplemental days will not exceed five (5) days. Paid Holidays will not exceed six (6) days and will be based on the Kroger Agreement "hired after 201 0" schedule. Years of service will apply in accordance with adjusted service date.
3. Former Hiller's employees at the time of the acquisition, who are hired by Kroger, will be given their current rate of pay and placed in the nearest progression on the "hired after 201 0" schedule according to that rate.
a. After the associate's initial six (6) months of Kroger service they shall progress to the next rate of pay in the (hired after 2010) schedule. Thereafter they shall progress every twelve (12) months in accordance with the steps in the appropriate schedule.
EXAMPLE: Former Hiller's Associate hired by Kroger July 5, 2015 at a rate of $8.65 per hour as a Clerk/Cashier. Hire date adjusted to June 30, 2015 (as per number 1 above). Associate progresses to next step in 'hired after 6/18/2010 wage scale' 36 month step (page 58), and receives new rate of $9.00 per hour effective with the pay period commencing January 3, 2016. The Associate's next step increase will increase their rate to $10.00 per hour effective with the pay period commencing January 1, 2017. Next step increase due December 31, 2017.
b. Any employee over the top rate of pay in a classification as of the date of initial employment will be red circled. No employee starting rate will exceed the highest rate in a classification. Any full time employee (excluding courtesy and utility clerks) red circled or not receiving a step increase during the term of this transition shall receive a lump sum payment of $500 effective January 3, 2016. Any part time employee (excluding courtesy and utility clerks) red circled or not receiving a step increase during the term of this transition shall receive a lump sum payment of $250 effective January 3, 2016.
c. Department Head starting pay will be based on the "hired after 2010" pay scale. Department heads shall have a ninety (90) day trial probationary period as Department Head.
4. All Hiller's employees hired by Kroger (within ninety (90) days of acquisition) who are participating in the National Industry Pension Fund will continue to participate without any break in service. Contributions will be based on the Kroger Agreement in
accordance with their Hiller's original hired date. Effective July 1, 2015 the following contributions shall be paid to the National Industry Pension Fund as follows:
Grocery Metro Contract rates:
Pre 1987 $1 .09 per hour
1 year of service $0.39 per hour
2 years of service $0.45 per hour
3 years of service $0.51 per hour
Meat Metro Contract rates:
Former Hiller Meat Employees shall continue to participate and have contributions paid to the National Industry Pension Fund per the following schedule for full time employees based upon their adjusted service date:
1 year of service - $90.06
2 year of service- $101 .94
3 year of service - $120.81
Part-time will continue at $60.72.
Former Hillers Meat Employees at a contribution of $192.04 shall be adjusted to $178.75 July 1, 2015.
Former Hiller Employees that have not yet qualified for pension will get credit with their adjusted service date and new employees hired after acquisition shall participate in the Kroger Company Meat Plan with $30 benefit for full time and $15 benefit for part time for each year of service.
5. All full-time former Hiller's employees hired by Kroger as such (within ninety (90) days of acquisition) who had previously qualified for health care coverage will maintain their current health plan through December 31, 2015. Full-time former Hiller's employee's 2015 open enrollment for coverage in 2016 will be eligible for Deluxe, Standard and Basic Plans only. Contributions will be based on Kroger Agreement.
6. Part-time former Hiller's employees will be eligible for Health and Welfare coverage for 2016 during a special open enrollment period in December of 2015, provided that they have worked an average twenty-four (24) hours per week from their first full week of
Kroger employment through midnight Saturday, November 28, 2015. If qualified under this special enrollment their coverage will be stable through December 31 , 2016. Those Part-time former Hiller's employees' who fail to qualify for the special enrollment in December will then be treated for ACA qualification as a new employee with an initial twelve month measurement period for determining eligibility by using Kroger hours worked.
If any of the above provisions contradict the terms of the Kroger CBA, the above provisions shall be controlling.
The parties agree that when the Kroger CBA expires in 2017, the parties shall incorporate the terms of this Letter of Understanding into any successive collective bargaining agreement or negotiate terms that address the specific concerns of the former Hiller's associates.
AGREED TO this 16th day of June, 2015 by the parties' execution below:
For the Company:
The Kroger Company
For the Union: United Food & Commercial Workers Local 876
Women's Network Donate to Local Women's Shelter
HAVEN is Oakland County's only comprehensive program for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. HAVEN provides shelter, counseling, advocacy and educational programming to nearly 30,000 people each year, predominately to women and children.
The Women's Network was able to donate well over $500 of clothing, toys and grocery gift cards.