COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) associates working at Kroger stores in Central Ohio have ratified a new labor agreement with UFCW Local 1059. "We are pleased to reach an agreement that is good for our associates and also allows us to be competitive in the very competitive Columbus-area marketplace," said Bruce Macaulay, president of Kroger's Columbus Division. "This agreement comes after thoughtful, respectful and productive work by both the company and union bargaining committees. I commend both teams for their professionalism." "I want to thank our associates for supporting this agreement, as well as for the excellent service they provide every day to our customers and company," Macaulay said. The contract covers more than 11,000 associates working in 85 stores in the Columbus and Central Ohio area. Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs more than 339,000 associates who serve customers in 2,425 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 788 convenience stores, 342 fine jewelry stores, 1,124 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations in the communities it serves. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 160 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. For more information please visit Kroger.com SOURCE The Kroger Co.