COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — With thousands of Kroger employees prepared to strike, business experts are warning central Ohioans about the possible trickle-down effect on grocery store shoppers.
Last week, Kroger submitted what it called its “last best final offer” to union members, which was rejected by 55% of the 6,700 union members who voted.
Now, with a potential strike looming, experts said a strike would have major impacts on the grocery shopping experience.
Ryan Rieder, the dean of Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership, warns that the cost to offset any wage increases, when an agreement does happen, could ultimately become the burden of the shopper.
Until then, with more than 12,000 employees at 82 stores, the average time spent at the grocery store could drastically increase with few workers, and with food prices and inflation on the rise, Rieder said the proposed wage increases are negligible.
“When you think about your experience at a grocery store, everything from, ‘Are things in stock when you’re shopping?’” Rieder said. “You know, if you have the person that bags the groceries, or if there is a tech issue as you’re doing a self-checkout, all of these things, it’ll add time to your grocery store visit.”
According to Kroger, its latest offer, rejected by the union, included a $1.80 pay raise over three years, which the company said would cost $120 million.
Kroger posted the full offer on its website. It can be viewed below.