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• Kroger’s Central Division reportedly has launched an enhanced plastics recycling program that is encouraging customers to bring back their plastic shopping bags, dry cleaning plastic wrap and other plastics to their local Kroger supermarket for recycling. The stores are also using the barrels that are being placed each division Kroger to recycle plastics used by store personnel, such as leftover shrink wrap.

Kroger expects the program to be rolled out in all its divisions by he end of the year.

• The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local representing supermarket employees in Montana reportedly has come to an agreement with Safeway and Albertsons on a tentative contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the union says that it calls for a higher level of health care benefits and wage increases.

• Unionized employees working for Kroger in 79 stores in southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana have voted to approve a new labor agreement that covers some 11,000 workers. The tentative deal was reached on November 1, and calls for higher benefits levels and wage increases.

• The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved the sale by Ahold of its Tops Markets division to Morgan Stanley Private Equity for $310 million.

• Winn-Dixie has announced a new promotion – shoppers using their Customer Reward Card will be able to get one free gallon of milk for every five gallons purchased. The program runs through January 15, 2008.

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