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Unions Press Kroger for “Hero Pay”


United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Locals 7 and 21 have addressed a letter to Rodney McMullen, CEO of the Kroger Company, requesting reinstatement of the $2 per hero “hero pay” phased out in mid-May.  The Union noted the increase in diagnoses of COVID-19 among their members with 491 positive cases and three deaths among UFCW7 in Denver over the past three weeks.  The two UFCW locals collectivelyrepresent 30,000 grocery workers in kroger stores in Colorado, Washington, and Wyoming states under diverse banners. The request for additional pay was supported by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).


Kroger paid a hero bonus of $2 per hour from March 31st extending to May 17th.  In addition, the company paid an appreciation bonus of $300 to full-time associates and $150 to part-time workers with an additional disbursement in June.  Kroger claims that it has spent more than $1.3 billion on appreciation pay and bonuses in addition to protective installations and PPE for workers.  A Kroger spokesperson commented “Our most urgent priority throughout this pandemic has been to provide a safe environment for our associates and customers while meeting our societal obligations to provide open stores and an efficient supply chain so that our communities have access to fresh, affordable food and essentials”.