By Tyler Durden
“Unfortunately, Seattle City Council didn’t consider that grocery stores — even in a pandemic — operate on razor-thin profit margins in a very competitive landscape,” the company said in a statement. “When you factor in the increased costs of operating during covid-19, coupled with consistent financial losses at these two locations, and this new extra pay mandate, it becomes impossible to operate a financially sustainable business.”
The hazard pay mandates were instituted because grocery employees were deemed “front line workers” due to their interaction with the public during the pandemic.
Hazard pay and other pandemic-related bonuses became popular among corporate grocery and retail giants, amid wider public attention on the plight of essential workers during the early spread of the coronavirus last year. Companies including Kroger, Target, Walmart, Amazon, Rite Aid and Albertsons instituted the policy.
But many companies like Kroger ended hazard pay as the country reopened, declining to reinstate the practice, despite record caseloads around the country. Kroger replaced it with a $400 bonus. –Washington Post
The move comes two weeks after Kroger announced the closure of stores in Long Beach, California over similar hazard pay legislation, blaming local officials after they passed a law mandating that grocery stores with at least 300 workers nationwide or 15 employees within Long Beach to pay an additional $4 an hour for a 120-day period.
Kroger’s decision was denounced by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.
“Kroger has literally made billions in pandemic profits off the sacrifices of grocery workers in Seattle and across the country,” union president Marc Perrone said in a statement. “Kroger’s action today not only threatens these workers, but it also threatens the local food supply. Instead of doing what is right, protecting the community and providing the hazard pay for these essential grocery workers, Kroger is once again trying to intimidate local and national elected leaders.”
Seattle officials, meanwhile, called Kroger’s move an attempt to “bully” the city’s elected leaders, who apparently didn’t think their actions would have consequences.
“Kroger has posted record earnings during this pandemic,” said Council President M. Lorena González in a statement. “The city’s front line grocery workers, meanwhile, are exposed to covid-19 every day and many are still living paycheck to paycheck.”
Kroger posted an operating profit of $792 million in Q3 2020, up 300% from the same quarter a year prior – so perhaps they’re drawing a line in the sand before cities across the country institute similar “hazard pay” mandates.
Source: Zero Hedge
Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Send resources to the front lines of peace and freedom HERE! Follow us on Telegram, SoMee, HIVE, Flote, Minds, MeWe, Twitter, Gab and Ruqqus.
Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.
Click this link for the original source of this article.
Author: Activist Post
This content is courtesy of, and owned and copyrighted by, https://www.activistpost.com and its author. This content is made available by use of the public RSS feed offered by the host site and is used for educational purposes only. If you are the author or represent the host site and would like this content removed now and in the future, please contact USSANews.com using the email address in the Contact page found in the website menu.