Tagged as portsmouth

RSS

Kroger Associates Plan Noon Rally to Call for $15 Minimum Wage

PRESS ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 29, 2016

CONTACT
Jonathan Williams, UFCW Local 400, jwilliams@local400.org

In just ten days, more than 1,000 Kroger employees sign petition supporting $15 minimum wage

100+ expected to attend rally to deliver signatures to store managers today at noon

WHAT:

At noon today, more than 100 Kroger workers and union activists will host a rally to deliver petitions calling for a $15 minimum wage to managers at a Kroger store in Portsmouth.

The petition spread like wildfire among employees at Kroger stores in Richmond-Tidewater the region. In just ten days, at least 1,000 store associates in the area signed a petition calling on the company to provide a wage floor of $15 an hour.

WHO:

100+ Kroger associates and union activists expected to attend

WHY:

The workers claim they simply can’t afford to survive on the company’s current pay, but with $2.4 billion in profits last year alone, many employees feel Kroger could easily afford to pay them higher wages. Last month, Rodney McMullen, the CEO of Kroger, was rewarded a 17 percent pay raise by the company’s board of directors. His total compensation jumped from $9.2 million to a staggering $11.2 million.

“If Kroger can afford to give the CEO a raise worth millions of dollars, it can afford to pay me enough to raise my child,” said Dakayla Williams, a single mother who has worked as a cashier at the Kroger Marketplace in Portsmouth for two years.

The workers launched the petition shortly after the District of Columbia city council passed legislation to raise the minimum wage in the nation’s capital to $15 an hour by 2020. Los Angeles, Seattle and New York have passed similar legislation.

Currently, Kroger hires new workers at less than $10 an hour and most are part-time positions. However, many workers report they are unable to make ends meet on Kroger wages. In Portsmouth, a single adult working full-time must earn at least $12.68 an hour to afford basic costs of living, according to researchers at MIT. That figure jumps to over $20 an hour if the worker has just one child – more than double the starting pay at Kroger.

WHEN:

12:00 p.m. Noon, Wednesday, June 29

WHERE:

Kroger Marketplace, 1301 Frederick Blvd, Portsmouth, VA 23707

VISUALS:

Protesters carrying signs, chanting, drumming

Picket line

Potential confrontation with store management

###

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 represents 35,000 members working in the retail food, health care, retail department store, food processing, service and other industries in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Delivery of Petition Signatures to Kroger on Behalf of Coworker Who Suffered Stroke Draws Local Media Attention

After 18-Year Cashier Suffers a Stroke on Insane Commute, Coworkers Deliver Hundreds of Petition Signatures to Kroger Demanding A Transfer

Felecia was interviewed by every TV news outlet in the area, as well as the main local newspaper.

Felecia was interviewed by every TV news outlet in the area, as well as the main local newspaper.

Yesterday, a petition with more than 330 signatures from employees were delivered to store managers at a Kroger Marketplace in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Felecia Mayes, an 18-year employee with the company who suffered a stroke while commuting to work, lives only minutes away from the store. The petition called on the company to allow her to transfer to the store with all the benefits and protections of her union contract intact.

“I live right around the street from Kroger, ten minutes away,” Felecia explained to News Channel 3. “Now how come I have to go all the way to Virginia Beach, which takes me two hours, to a job that I have worked for for almost 18 years? I mean, it’s just not fair.”

“I have to take three buses and a light rail just to get to work,” explained Felecia. When asked why the company has not granted her request for a transfer, Felecia told ABC 13 News Now “because it’s a non-union store and they don’t want no [sic] non-union members here.”

With TV camera crews from every local news outlet on the scene, Felecia, who now requires a wheelchair, delivered the signatures to the managers at a Kroger Marketplace just minutes from her home. The store manager immediately threatened to call the police.

She was joined by several coworkers, union representatives, elected officials and community leaders, including Senator L. Louise Lucas, (18th District), Delegate Steve Heretick (79th District), and James Boyd, President of the NAACP Portsmouth Branch.

“They’re discriminating against her in effect because she’s a union member,” explained Delegate Heretick.

Addressing the crowd, Senator Lucas said “this is the kind of effort we all like to stand in agreement with.”

Last year, after Kroger closed her store in Portsmouth, she applied for a transfer to a Kroger Marketplace store only minutes from her home. The company denied her request and gave her two choices instead – commute to a store two hours away from home or lose her job.

Last week, while taking the two-hour trip to work, Felecia suffered a stroke on the bus. Her doctor attributes to the stress and physical difficulty of her new commute. Meanwhile, there is a Kroger Marketplace store within eyesight of her home.

In a statement issued later in the day, Kroger claimed “when we closed the store where she was working, we provided her the opportunity to work at one of our other stores where full-time cashier positions were available.”

However, what the statement did not mention is that the company refused to allow Felecia to maintain the protections and benefits of her union contract. She would have been forced to start at an entry-level position, despite having worked for the company for 18 years. “I wasn’t going to give up my benefits and everything, so I made the commute to Virginia Beach,” Felecia said.

The petition called on the company to formally respond within five days. Local 400 will continue to call on the company to respect this dedicated employee, and the more than 300 coworkers that stood with her, until she is granted a transfer.

“We`d just like Felecia, when she’s ready, to be able to get back to work and really the only way she’s going to be able to do that is if she can work at a store close to home,” explained Mike Wilson, Strategic Campaigns Director for Local 400.

You can help Felecia. Call the Kroger Marketplace in Portsmouth at (757) 215-4205 and tell the store manager that this is no way to treat loyal employees like Felecia. Tell him to honor her request and immediately transfer Felecia to the Kroger Marketplace in Portsmouth with all the benefits and protections of her union contract intact.

Photos

Press Coverage

Portsmouth woman fights for job transfer
by Kristina Zverjako, WVEC
ABC 13 News Now / WVEC-TV

Woman petitions Kroger for transfer after stroke
By Kevin Green
10 On Your Side / WAVY-TV News

Kroger employees present petition for transfer of Portsmouth woman who suffered stroke during long commute
by Brian Hill
News Channel 3 / WTKR-TV

Portsmouth woman says 4-hour commute to Kroger caused stroke and paralysis, according to doctor
By Jordan Pascale
The Virginian-Pilot

Tweets from Reporters

Tell Kroger: Let Felecia Transfer!

After Suffering A Stroke On Insane Commute, Kroger Coworkers Gather Hundreds of Petition Signatures Demanding A Transfer

Felecia Mayes, a Kroger cashier for 18 years, suffered a stroke on the bus after being forced to commute two hours to work.

Felecia Mayes, a Kroger cashier for 18 years, suffered a stroke on the bus after being forced to commute two hours to work.

Felecia Mayes has worked as a Kroger cashier for 18 years. Last year, after Kroger closed her store in Portsmouth, she applied for a transfer to a Kroger Marketplace store only minutes from her home. The company denied her request and gave her two choices instead – commute to a store two hours away from home or lose her job.

Last week, while taking the two-hour trip to work, Felecia suffered a stroke on the bus. Her doctor attributes to the stress and physical difficulty of her new commute. Meanwhile, there is a Kroger Marketplace store within eyesight of her home.

After hearing the news, Felecia’s coworkers collected hundreds of signatures from Kroger employees on a petition demanding the company immediately transfer her to the Kroger Marketplace a short walk from her home.

Call the Kroger Marketplace: (757) 215-4205

You can help Felecia. Call the Kroger Marketplace in Portsmouth at (757) 215-4205 and tell the store manager that this is no way to treat loyal employees like Felecia. Tell him to honor her request and immediately transfer Felecia to the Kroger Marketplace in Portsmouth with all the benefits and protections of her union contract intact.

After Woman Suffers Stroke On Insane Commute, Coworkers Gather Hundreds of Petition Signatures Demanding A Transfer

PRESS ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 24, 2016

CONTACT
Jonathan Williams, UFCW Local 400, jwilliams@local400.org

Joined by elected officials and community leaders, Kroger coworkers come to aid of 18-year employee who suffered a stroke on the bus after being forced to commute two hours to work

WHAT:

Felecia Mayes has worked as a Kroger cashier for 18 years. Last year, she arrived to the Portsmouth store where she worked to find a sign posted on the door saying Kroger would be closing in less than a month. When Felecia applied for a transfer to the new Kroger Marketplace store only minutes from her home, the company denied her request. Instead, Kroger gave her two choices – commute to a store two hours away from home or lose her job.

Last week, while taking the two-hour trip to work, Felecia suffered a stroke on the bus. Her doctor attributes to the stress and physical difficulty of her new commute. Meanwhile, there is a Kroger store within eyesight of her home. Her doctor’s say she can not keep doing the commute.

After hearing the news, Felecia’s coworkers collected hundreds of signatures from Kroger employees on a petition demanding the company immediately transfer her to the Kroger Marketplace a short walk from her home.

Along with her coworkers, elected officials, community leaders, and union representatives, Felecia will deliver those petitions to the store manager at the Kroger Marketplace near her home.

They are calling on Kroger to respect the dedication of an 18-year associate by transferring her immediately to the Kroger Marketplace in Portsmouth.

WHEN:

11:00 a.m., Thursday, March 24, 2016

WHERE:

Kroger Marketplace, 1301 Frederick Blvd, Portsmouth, VA 23707 

WHO:

Felecia Mayes, Kroger cashier

Coworkers, friends, and family of Felecia Mayes

Senator L. Louise Lucas, Senate of Virginia, 18th District

Delegate Steve Heretick, Virginia House of Delegates, 79th District

James Boyd, President, NAACP Portsmouth Branch

Joe Dillard, President, NAACP Norfolk Branch

Tanya Canty, Director, Mission United, United Way of South Hampton Roads

Kroger union representatives

###