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No More “Hero Pay” Bonus For Kroger Employees During Pandemic

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Kroger Co. is the largest supermarket chain and third largest retail company in the world. In Southern California, Kroger owns Ralphs and Food 4 Less.

Kroger implemented the Hero Pay last month, providing a $2 per hour bonus to its employees working during the coronavirus pandemic. However, Kroger announced that starting May 17th, it will eliminate the bonus.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) international union represents over 100,000 grocery workers in several states and around 55,000 of those are Kroger stores employees. Hundreds of these workers have already tested positive for COVID-19.

The UFCW and presidents of local unions have jointly sent a letter to Kroger Co. CEO Rodney McMullen to extend the Hero Pay to the workers through the end of May, keeping in mind that the Hero Pay must remain for as long as the pandemic continues. The union is also asking that Kroger be more effective and rigorous in limiting the number for shoppers inside the store and having all shoppers and workers wear masks or face coverings.

In their letter, the presidents noted:

“The members of the UFCW that work for you are stocking shelves, bagging groceries, cleaning, and running cash registers while wearing masks and gloves to try to save their lives and the lives of their families. They do this every day to protect themselves form customers who are not required to wear the same PPE.

The suggestions of social distancing, one shopper per household, having every other check lane open, and customer limits are not enforced.”

In a statement released by Kroger, the company stated that it will continue to evaluate its employees’ needs as they evolve and keep in balance what is best for their employees, the customers, and the community at large.

About the Author
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Rodney Mesriani

Rodney Mesriani is the principal partner of the Los Angeles and Santa Monica based Mesriani Law Group. He specializes in personal injury and employment law while also being an accomplished litigator and trial attorney. Rodney is an aggressive negotiator and a well-known and respected attorney in the areas of practice he specializes in.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from California State University Northridge before attending Southwestern School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate. While being an accomplished personal injury and employment lawyer, Rodney Mesriani has made it a point to attend numerous State Sponsored MCLE events and seminars over the years as a law practitioner to be informed of the latest laws and litigation strategies.



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