Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Jonathan Williams, UFCW Local 400,

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


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.


100+ Kroger associates and union activists expected to attend


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.


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


Kroger Marketplace, 1301 Frederick Blvd, Portsmouth, VA 23707


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.