Grocery Store Workers and Community in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Seattle Call Out Kroger for Bullying and Store Closures
The Kroger Co. Announced Closures of Seven Neighborhood Stores to Avoid Paying Workers a Temporary Wage Increase After Profiting $2.6 Billion During the Pandemic, Investing Earnings on Stock Buybacks Instead
On Thursday, April 8, 2021, Essential frontline grocery workers, community members, and supporters in California and Washington hosted a symbolic “donation collection” in front of stores set to close, to help raise funds for the top supermarket chain in the country to pay its workers temporary hazard pay and call on Kroger Co. to keep stores open.
The simultaneous demonstrations in Los Angeles, Long Beach & Seattle were organized by workers and their Local Unions, UFCW 770, 324 & 21 respectively. The workers and community members impacted by the store closures called out Kroger’s bullying and the greed that is driving their retaliatory actions closing stores that workers and communities depend on.
Kroger owns the California Ralphs and Food 4 Less stores and Washington QFC stores slated to shut down. The corporation falsely claims that these supermarkets are closing as a result of hazard pay when in reality it was a clear effort to intimidate workers, the community, and elected officials in an attempt to discourage any additional hazard pay ordinances from passing.
Thursday’s actions symbolize the extreme disparity between the company’s windfall COVID profits and its decision to cut workers’ pay since May 2020, despite persistent elevated sales and risk to employees.