New Contract For Kroger Unions
New York City, Seven International Brotherhood of Teamsters locals representing 3,200 workers in Southern California have approved a new five-year contract for Kroger, the nation’s largest grocer by sales.
Kroger, Albertson’s and Safeway, the nation’s big-three supermarket chains, endured lengthy labor strikes last year, causing millions of dollars worth of losses.
Sears Holdings to Further Cut Benefits
Hoffman Estates, Ill., In the wake of soaring costs and plummeting shares, Sears Holding Corp. announced that retirees under the age of 65 will be forced to pay for their own health care coverage. Sears said that retiree health care costs consist of 17% of the company’s operating income.
Sears shares are down 29% from an all-time high of $163.50, set in July. Sears representatives say cutting costs is necessary to stay competitive, adding that Sears remains one of the only major U.S. retailers that provides retiree health care coverage: “Our new plan continues to be more generous than most,” spokesman Chris Brathwaite said.
Sears said that because of accounting rules related to its acquisition of Kmart it no longer expects to record gains from post-retirement benefits in future years.
PETsMART Names Hardin to Board
Phoenix, Joseph S. Hardin Jr., the retired president and CEO of Kinko’s, has been named to the PETsMART board of directors, bringing its membership to 12.
Prior to his leadership position at Kinko’s, Hardin served in several executive positions at Wal-Mart over an 11-year career with the retailer.