US grocery retailer Kroger has announced that a new labour contract covering 3,300 employees in 44 of its stores in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky has been ratified by union members, ending a nearly two-month work stoppage. 


“We are extremely pleased to have a new contract in place so that our employees can return to work and we can begin serving our customers again,” said Pete Williams, president of Kroger’s mid-Atlantic marketing area.


Cincinnati, Ohio-based Kroger plans to begin recalling workers immediately and has begun scheduling deliveries of fresh product to stores for Friday morning. Twelve fuel centres that had been closed during the work stoppage will reopen Friday.


Three stores will not be reopened, Kroger said. Those stores are located in Gauley Bridge, West Virginia; Pomeroy, Ohio; and Gallipolis, Ohio. 


“As we said before the work stoppage began, Kroger would re-open as many stores as we believe we can economically operate. Unfortunately, the impact of the strike, combined with the projected cost of restocking, does not make it economically feasible for us to reopen these three stores,” said Williams.

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