Kroger workers in Houston could possibly strike during this Thanksgiving season, the Houston Chronicle reports. On November 16, the United Food and Commercial Workers announced that workers voted to authorize a strike amidst negotiations with Kroger over issues like pay and healthcare. The grocery giant told the paper that it is working on reaching an agreement with the union.
The contract between Kroger and the United Food and Commercial Workers, who represent Kroger employees in Houston, expired in April 2020. Kroger canceled its hazard pay, which was put in place at the start of the pandemic, in May 2020, and in a widely-criticized move, also asked employees to return extra emergency pay that the company accidentally doled out. In September 2020, West Houston Kroger stores rallied for a continuation of hazard pay during the pandemic.
It’s unclear if or when a strike might happen, but some reports suggest the timing could be this week. Right now, there are informational picketing sessions at select Kroger stores. UFCW Local 455 wrote in a Facebook comment yesterday:
We are not in strike YET! We have a bargaining date with the Kroger company on November 30th as a result of the strike vote that just passed by 97% clerk and 97% meat. Please call your representative to find out informational picketing locations and times in preparation for the upcoming strike. We all know November 30th is not good enough because its after Thanksgiving, please tell the company to bargain in good faith immediately!
There’s a major shortage of donations for Houston Thanksgiving Super Feast
An annual fundraiser that puts Thanksgiving dinner on the table for thousands of Houston families is in danger of not meeting its fundraising goal. The Houston Chronicle reports that organizers for the 43rd “Annual Thanksgiving Super Feast” said they are facing a ”terrible” Thanksgiving food donation shortage. Food supply chain shortages are supposedly one of the reasons, and the organization put on an emergency food drive this week. The organization is also accepting cash donations online at citywideclub.com.
A fancy Japanese chocolate shop is now open in Houston
Matcha green tea chocolates and chocolate-covered potato chips from Royce Chocolate could be a great holiday gift. The anticipated new Houston shop from the Japanese chocolatier is now open at 9798 Bellaire Boulevard, near ice cream shop Bae and 7 Leaves Cafe. This is the first permanent Royce store in Texas, having popped up over the years before this opening.