Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ready For A Facebook "Flash Mob?"

Read the current account from the labor dispute at Kroger and ask yourself, "Is my company ready"

Kroger union workers stage 'Facebook flash mob'
Date: Monday, September 19, 2011, 10:53am EDT
Kroger Co. employees from Ohio Valley stores posted numerous messages on Kroger’s Facebook page on Wednesday, expressing concerns about unfair treatment and wages.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 23 called it a “Facebook flash mob,” posting a stream of comments on the page starting at 4 p.m. and continuing until about 7 p.m. yesterday.
“This action is an outgrowth of the Kroger employees’ concern over wages, their passion for their jobs and their customers, and their growing frustration with Kroger,” Tony Helfer, president of the UFCW Local 23, said in a news release. “The idea arose because the employees in these stores have expressed their concern and frustration on Facebook and used it to support each other very actively. This comes from them.”
UFCW Local 23 represents about 1,000 workers at 12 Kroger stores in West Virginia and Ohio. Kroger and the union have been in labor negotiations, though workers have already authorized a strike.
Keith Dailey, Kroger’s spokesman, said the company’s focus remains on reaching an agreement at the bargaining table.
“Social media is an open medium, and we aren’t the first company to see someone attempt to use a Facebook page for PR and I’m sure we won’t be the last,” Dailey said.
Negotiations are scheduled to resume Friday after talks broke down before Labor Day.
People posting as Kroger employees continued to make comments on Kroger’s page throughout the week.
On Kroger’s Facebook page, Tonya Gatts posted, “I know you keep deleting my posts but I am hoping someone is still reading them, so they will understand the employees, we really do deserve a raise and affordable insurance, just as much as the managers did. Thank you.”
Kroger has put pay increases, affordable health care and 100 percent company-paid pension on the bargaining table, Dailey said.
Cincinnati-based Kroger operates 2,439 supermarkets and multidepartment stores in 31 states. The company also operates 788 convenience stores, 361 jewelry stores, 1,046 fuel centers and 40 food processing plants in the U.S



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