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Agreement reached to head off Kroger strike

Unionized workers at Kroger reached a tentative agreement with management early this morning. The agreement averts a threatened strike by thousands of Kroger workers around Ohio.

Members of Local 1059 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union had been working under an extension of their old contract. After an all-night bargaining session that concluded at 6 a-m Wednesday, the parties completed talks. Union President Becky Berroyer posted a voice mail message for the rank-and-file an hour later.

"A tentative agreement has been reached with unanimous committee recommendation. We have scheduled a ratification vote on Friday, November 18th at the Ohio State Fairgrounds "

Earlier this month workers had voted overwhelmingly to strike if negotiations broke down. The union had trained strike workers and Kroger was prepared to hire temporary employees. A strike could have forced the closing of some of Kroger stores in Ohio. Monica Gordon is a company spokeswoman.

"Obviously both sides were committed throughout this whole process to come up with a solution and we're happy to have a tentative agreement out there for associates to begin voting on on Friday."

Neither side would release details of the new contract but Kroger says it's been informed that the union will recommend that its members vote in favor of the agreement.