Kroger vote is set for Saturday

STEUBENVILLE — Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776KS at area Kroger Co. stores will be holding meetings Saturday to vote on the company’s latest contract offer.

Tony Helfer, director of the Western Division of Local 1776KS, said the company provided its latest offer Friday.

A morning meeting will be held Saturday in Steubenville and an evening meeting at Wheeling Island, Helfer said.

“The committee is giving a neutral recommendation,” he said. Helfer said he wouldn’t go into details in public about the offer until after the workers have been briefed. He said the situation is unusual in that the negotiating committee usually offers a favorable or unfavorable recommendation on an offer.

He said what makes the situation unusual is that the company “has made an offer that is more attractive in some ways to our senior members.”

The Kroger Co. agreement with UFCW Local 1776KS covers about 1,200 workers at 11 Kroger stores in Steubenville, Wintersville, Weirton, Wellsburg, Martins Ferry, Bellaire, St. Clairsville, Wheeling and Moundsville. The workers have rejected a prior offer and are continuing to work under a contract extension after the previous contract expired Aug. 4. An initial extension expired Friday. Union members have taken a strike vote, but a date was not set for a strike while negotiations continued.