A strike authorized Monday by the United Food and Commercial Union, means most area Kroger stores are closed for as long as that strike lasts. For Kroger workers, this could be the last day on the job for the foreseeable future. Union officials say the problem in negotiations is the company's proposal to reduce healthcare benefits.
Kroger says what the union's decision means, is that all Kroger Stores in the union region, including the four in Wood and Washington Counties, will shut their doors until the walkout is over.
"I've shopped at Kroger for years. I like the organization, it has pretty good people," says Don.
"I don't think this area can afford a lot of labor-unfriendly circumstances," Nancy McManus.
To loyal Kroger shoppers, the closings will be an inconvenience, but to others, there are more than 30 other stores in the area to go to, and Kroger's loss, could be the competition's gain.
One of those store chains is big bear. Ironically, the chain's parent company closed several Ohio and West Virginia stores, although none of them were in this area, after declaring bankruptcy early this year.
"There are some people who won't cross the picket lines. There are people who are loyal and return once the strike is over. It's just hard to tell," says Mark Jampole.
With a holiday season approaching, how long the strike lasts will determine how hard Kroger will be hit. Kroger says its pharmacies are non-union so they will stay open, but customers may have to cross picket lines outside the stores.
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