The symbol of the end of a long work stoppage: union leaders removing picket signs and tents from outside local Kroger stores, but the approval of the contract ending the nearly two-month walkout wasn't overwhelming.
A margin of 250 votes out of more than 1,600 cast. Still, it comes as good news to shoppers.
Angie Shepherd, shopper: We've been going to the IGA, and to the other stores that are open.
Question: Does this give you another choice?
Shepherd: For shopping, yes.
Janet Harper, Caldwell resident: I feel bad for the families that, at this time of the year, are without jobs. But I don't know the whole situation.
The vote was crucial to Kroger. With the holiday season in full swing, officials couldn't afford to see stores closed much longer. Local union officials declined to comment, but a copy of the contract obtained by WTAP indicates workers maintain their current health benefits, the key issue in the strike, and residents have their Kroger stores back for at least three more years.