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UFCW Wins Additional Pay for Kroger Pharmacy Techs; Continues Fight for More Pay for all Kroger Workers

UFCW members are – and have been – on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. You’ve ensured people and families in our communities continue to have the food and supplies they need.

We won additional pay for Kroger Pharmacy Techs. But, we are going to keep pushing and fighting so that all Kroger workers have the resources you’ve earned and deserve and have what you need to stay safe at work.

Local Union leaders in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio recently sent another letter to Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen reading in part:

“As long as our members continue to risk their health and their lives, they deserve hazard pay. It should have never been taken away, and now, more than ever it must be restored…

While we agree with the need to increase the Pharmacy Technician wages during this global pandemic, we maintain our position that every single store employee is at great risk of exposure to the virus and also deserves a temporary wage increase.”

UFCW Announces Scholarship Winners

UFCW Local 700 proudly awards $22,000 per year in scholarships to members and your dependents. Congratulations to the most recent winners:

Caitlin Chval, Kroger J-972

Brandon Foster, Kroger J-911

Jose Leyva, Maria Leyva, Maple Leaf

Sean Radford, Kroger J-869

Abdelmuezz Zeidan, Kroger J-928

Dheyanira Alarcon, Jose Alarcon, Tyson

Nadav Alkaslassy, Kroger J-998

Franklin Montero, Carmen Meija, Tyson

Alfredo Perez, Kroger J-424

Manuel Ramos, Ruth Ramos, Tyson

Abigail Sanchez Contreras, Rosa Sanchez, Tyson

Shawn Smith, Kroger J-928

Kirk D’Rosa, Genevieve D’Rosa, Kroger J-973

Max Sandefer, Kroger J-928

UFCW Leaders Call on Kroger for Additional Hourly Compensation

Presidents of UFCW Locals in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Kentucky sent additional correspondence to Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen, calling on him for additional hourly compensation for Kroger workers. The letter is as follows:

Across the country, COVID-19 cases are rapidly increasing and putting frontline workers more at risk than ever before – including Kroger workers. Throughout the ongoing coronavirus crisis, access to food has been essential, and it is made possible because of the serious risks that our members – Kroger workers – are willing to take in order to keep stores stocked and open.  They are continuing to show up for our communities in the face of this growing danger they face with cases continuing to increase, and more of our friends, neighbors, and family getting exposed or sick every day.And, as you know, among the frontline workers who face the gravest of risks are grocery and food workers who often interact with thousands of customers every single day.

Kroger says its “most urgent priority” is “meeting our societal obligation to provide open stores, e-commerce solutions and an efficiently operating supply chain so that our communities have access to fresh, affordable food and essentials.” Accomplishing this is impossible without our members, the Kroger workers, who are continuing to serve the public amidst a raging health crisis. 

We cannot wish or ignore away a global pandemic. The reality is that grocery workers continue to get sick and die from COVID-19. A new Harvard study found that 1 in 5 grocery workers had COVID-19, with most workers showing no symptoms. Additionally, a new report confirms there have already been over 130 grocery worker deaths and thousands of grocery workers infected or exposed to the virus.

Throughout a pandemic, during the holidays, and all year long, members of UFCW work to ensure that people in our communities have the food and supplies they need at Kroger stores all across our region. These workers have earned additional compensation for the hazards that still very much exist. While fuel points and gift cards are a step in the right direction, Kroger workers deserve the extra money in their pay checks for continuing to work during the worst pandemic in a century.

Instead of continuing to invest in your shareholders and corporate employees (many of whom can and are working from home, away from stores or crowded offices), invest in your frontline workers. As this pandemic rages on and the risks workers face grow, America’s food retail companies, including Kroger, continue to authorize billions in stock buybacks for wealthy shareholders. Meanwhile, profits are up, by 90% according to one recent study, while you seemingly ignore the danger employees are facing on the frontlines of this pandemic.

We will only get through this crisis together, and that begins with Kroger putting workers first, not the corporate bottom line. Please do what is right and compensate our members – Kroger workers – with the additional hourly pay they so deserve.

UFCW Union Scholarship Program Applications Now Available

UFCW Local 700 proudly awards $22,000 per year in scholarships to members or dependents.

Applicants must be UFCW Local 700 members in good standing, or their legal dependents; have graduated or will graduate from high school or are currently enrolled in college or trade school; must have completed the SAT or ACT; and must be accepted to an accredited institution OR met the requirements and enrolled in a two-year community college, technical, or trade school.

Twice a year, we award $11,000 in scholarships: Five at $1,000 each and twelve at $500 each.

Click here for more information.

Applications available:

Applications must be postmarked no later than December 1, 2020.
UFCW Local 700 Scholarship Fund
c/o UFCW Local 700
3091 E. 98th St, Suite #150
Indianapolis, IN 46280

UFCW Continues Fight for Hazard Pay

UFCW Locals are continuing to fight for additional pay and resources for our members. You are – and you have been – on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, ensuring that people and families in our communities have the food and supplies they need. UFCW reached an agreement with another grocery company for it to pay retroactive hazard pay in recognition of the ongoing risk that workers take simply by coming to work. We’re going to keep pushing for you to have the resources you’ve earned and deserve, and to ensure you have what you need to keep you safe at work.

Presidents from UFCW Locals in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky, recently sent another letter to Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen, which reads in part:

“Health experts recently projected that it’s likely that over 400,000 Americans will lose their lives to COVID-19 by the end of 2020. As more and more people get sick our members continue to show their dedication and make sacrifices for their customers, communities and The Kroger Company. Our members deserve hazard pay as long as the health and safety hazards of COVID-19 remain.

Hazard pay is not a handout. It’s an investment in the hard-working men and women driving Kroger’s unprecedented success. Letters, robocalls and billboards thanking your associates – our members – is not appreciation. It’s a slap in the face contributing to the low morale in your stores, especially as they see your competitors reinstating hazard pay. You need to do the right thing and pay them the hazard pay they have earned and deserve.”

See full letter here.

UFCW700 Announces Scholarship Winners

UFCW Local 700 proudly awards $22,000 per year in scholarships to members and your dependents. Congratulations to the most recent winners:

Blanca Leyva (Maria Leyva, Maple Leaf)

Barbara Otchere, Kroger J864

Manuel Ramos (Ruth Ramos, Tyson)

Olivia Staniszewski, Kroger J115

Mariela Velazquez (Neli Andrade, ConAgra)

Nadav Alkaslassy, Kroger J158

Isabella Bazan (Crystal Bazan, Kroger J804)

Ashley Black, Kroger J963

Guadalupe Camargo (Camilo Camargo, Maple Leaf)

Zoe Cunningham, Kroger J911

Kirk D’Rosa, Kroger J973

Brandon Foster, Kroger J911

Jackson Hamm, Kroger J990

Lydia Mendez, Kroger J158

Garcia Puga (Jose Puga, Tyson)

Alexys Shepherd (Mechelle Shepherd, Kroger J864)

Keyen Taulbee (Brandi Taulbee, Kroger J71)

UFCW Local 700 Leader to Serve Community as Poll Worker on Election Day

Vern Sowers

UFCW Local 700 Executive Board Member Vern Sowers is serving as a poll worker for the first time this November. A 17-year union leader and member, Vern decided to spend his time working the polls because, “This is a very important election. It’s our civic responsibility to make sure there are as many polling locations open as possible.” Vern will receive training from his local Board of Elections and encourages other union members to consider serving on Election Day.

We must keep in mind who is going to do the best for workers once they are elected. The people we elect have a huge impact on our daily lives, including what we can achieve at the bargaining table. Vern says if the officials we elect undermine our collective power and the rights of hardworking people, that we could lose many of the important things we’ve long fought for.

As Vern says, the biggest most important thing to remember is that, “If you care about the future of this country, you need to get out and vote.”

Kroger Workers to Receive Additional Pay

Grocery workers have continued to serve our communities throughout this pandemic – ensuring that people and families have the food and supplies they need. UFCW Local 700 has continued to advocate for additional pay for our members to recognize the sacrifices and risk you take by continuing to do your jobs.

Hourly Kroger workers active as of August 15, 2020 will receive a $100 Thank You Credit on your loyalty card. (This credit is not taxable.) In addition, you will receive 1,000 fuel points. Both of these will be applied on September 1. If you do not have a loyalty card, you will receive a $100 gift card that will not be taxed.

Kroger workers who were on Leave of Absence (LOA) as of Aug 15 are not eligible, with the exception of those on Emergency LOA.

The $100 store credit will be issued for each qualifying hourly associate. For example, if a parent and child are both qualifying hourly workers and share a loyalty card, they will receive a credit of $200, or $100 per worker. In the same way, 1,000 bonus fuel points will be issued for each qualifying Kroger worker. (Members of the household must have their loyalty cards linked in ExpressHR for these offers to automatically load.)

We will keep advocating for additional pay and resources for you. We believe this additional pay should continue, as the COVID-19 crisis is, too.

Thank you for all of the ways you serve our community. Should you have questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to contact your Union Representative.

Joe Biden Stands with UFCW Members Across the Country

Joe Biden will continue stand up with and for hardworking people – including members of UFCW who have been working tirelessly to feed our nation throughout a global pandemic. In a recent letter to UFCW members, Biden says:
“While industries and entire sectors of our economy have gone remote, we’re reminded daily of the essential nature of the jobs done by UFCW workers. Even in good times, UFCW workers are critical to keeping our families well-fed and well-supplied. And amid a global pandemic that has taken the lives of so many, your duty remains the same while the conditions worsen, and the danger grows. We owe it to you to ensure that you receive the benefits and protections you need, now and after this crisis ends.”