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Nearly 100 dead. At least 12,000 infected. Frontline grocery store workers are risking their lives to keep us fed.
The COVID-19 pandemic is only worsening, but we all rely on frontline grocery store workers to continue to work and ensure we have access to food and other goods. The least we can do is hold their employers accountable and demand they do right by their workers.
But so many businesses are falling down on the job of valuing and protecting their workers. Few are as bad as Kroger, however. Kroger is the biggest grocery brand in the country. Kroger owns chains like Harris Teeter, Frys, Fred Meyer, and others. Its CEO, Rodney McMullen, made a staggering $21 million in compensation last year and is safely working from home. Kroger's revenues have been booming during the pandemic. And yet---Kroger has revoked the $2 an hour additional "hero pay" (also known as hazard pay) for frontline workers. Moreover, Kroger has only temporarily extended paid sick leave for frontline employees, but it doesn't include paid family or medical leave, both critical to keeping workers and consumers safe.
Most frontline grocery store workers are women and people of color--communities that are especially bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kroger has presented itself as being in solidarity with Black workers and a champion for racial justice, but the reality is the utter lack of care for its Black and brown employees by revoking the necessary hero pay they deserve. Kroger needs to know that its consumers demand better for workers and are not fooled by PR gestures.
Will you help amp up the pressure on McMullen and Kroger to reinstate hero/hazard pay for frontline workers and robust paid leave? Sign the petition.