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Grocery Union Continues Fight For Hazard Pay at Kroger Stores

By Justin Hicks, IPB News | Published on in Business, Health
A number of grocery chains, including Kroger, are implementing restrictions on the number of products customers can purchase. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
In the early months of the pandemic grocery chains, including Kroger, implemented restrictions on the number of products customers could purchase. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

The United Food and Commercial Workers union says it will continue to demand Kroger grocery stores give workers hazard pay during the pandemic. That comes as the company report earnings grew more than 14 percent in 2020 compared to this time last year.

In a letter to Kroger, several UFCW chapters, including one representing Hoosiers, said their members deserve hazard pay for as long as potential health risks of COVID-19 remain. They said the threat to workers is even greater than months ago as the virus continues to spread. Earlier in the month, the company announced it expects to see continued growth in profits as people avoid eating out.

A UFCW 700 spokesperson said workers are “frustrated” and have a “bad taste in their mouths” seeing business boom without receiving pay to honor the risks they take at work. They said the union remains open to either retroactive or future hazard pay negotiations.

The renewed call for hazard pay comes days after New England chapters of the union negotiated a one-time retroactive hazard payment for its members working at Stop and Shop grocery stores.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.