HOUSTON, May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) associates working at Kroger stores in the Houston area have ratified a new labor agreement with UFCW Local 455. "We are pleased to reach an agreement that is good for our associates. It provides a solid compensation package of wages and benefits, including affordable health care and pension for retirement," said Bill Breetz, president of Kroger's Southwest Division. "This agreement is the outcome of thoughtful, respectful and productive work by both the company and union representatives. 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." The three-year agreement covers more than 13,729 associates working in 109 stores in the Houston area. Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs 343,000 associates who serve customers in 2,424 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 786 convenience stores, 328 fine jewelry stores, 1,169 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. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 160 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club. SOURCE The Kroger Co.