Kroger workers staging car caravan to demand ‘hero pay’

This Thursday, June 15, 2017, photo shows a Kroger grocery store logo at a store in Flowood,...
This Thursday, June 15, 2017, photo shows a Kroger grocery store logo at a store in Flowood, Miss.(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2020 at 3:39 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Kroger workers will be staging a car caravan to demand the extension of ‘hero pay’ until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Kroger employees in Virginia and West Virginia will be staging car caravan protests in eight cities, including Richmond on June 10.

Employees were outraged after the company canceled the hero pay program last month, which provided an additional $2/hour pay to employees, and replaced it with a one-time thank you bonus. The one-time thank you bonus will be paid out on June 18.

Nearly 13,000 employees along with Kroger union members and UFCW Local 400 signed a petition and delivered it to the Kroger CEO to extend the hero pay program.

“With no vaccine in sight, Kroger workers will continue to risk their health, and the health of their families and loved ones, by coming to work,” the petition read. “Unlike most other businesses, Kroger is making more than ever right now. These heroes deserve to share in the financial success they have created for Kroger.”

According to the UFCW, more than 65 grocery workers died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and approximately 9,810 have been infected or exposed to the virus.

In a statement, Allison McGee, the Corporate Affairs Manager with Kroger Mid-Atlantic, said this:

Kroger has invested more than $800 million to reward and safeguard associates since March. This consists of hero pay, appreciation pay and thank you pay bonuses paid to its hourly full-time and part-time associates to recognize and reward the team for their commitment to customers. To combat the spread of Covid-19 and keep associates and customers safe while shopping in stores, we have implemented capacity limits and equipped all stores with plexiglass barriers, social distancing decals and sanitizers as well as purchased personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, gloves and face shields.

We will continue to safeguard our associates’ health and well-being and recognize their work. At the same time, we will continue running a sustainable business that provides steady employment and opportunities to learn and grow for over half a million associates, including 18,000 associates in the Mid-Atlantic region. The health and safety of our associates, customers and communities are and will continue to be our top priority.

Protesters will be meeting at the Dick’s Sporting Goods located in Short Pump at 11800 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23233 at 4 p.m.

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