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No Strike: Kroger, Union Reach Agreement On Four-Year Contract

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Kroger and the United Food and Commercial Workers have reached a contract agreement, ending the threat of a strike at 19 stores in the Raleigh-Durham area as well as Greenville.

Kroger and uUnion Local 204 announced Thursday afternoon that uion members had ratified a four-year contract covering some 2,000 workers. The uion had been without a contract since July 16, and the agreement is retroactive to that date.

The contract includes wage increases for each of the next four years.

"We're very satisfied with this contract," said Nina Tilley, a Local 204 member, in a statement issued by the uion. "I don't think we would have an agreement like this without the support we got from the community here and from UFCW members all over the country."

Union members voted "overwhelmingly" in favor of the new deal in voting on Sept. 26 and 27, the union said.

Pete Williams, president of the Mid-Atlantic Division of Kroger, described the agreement as balanced.

"This is a good package for our associates and for Kroger and will enable us to be more competitive in a challenging market," he said in a statement.

In the negotiations, Kroger had sought contributions from employees toward health care costs.

The deal is "similar" to others negotiated recently at other divisions, Kroger said.

The union said the contract ensures "quality, affordable healthcare" and "ensures" that pension benefits are secure.