With pandemic still endangering lives, Kroger workers are outraged over the company’s refusal to agree to a fair contract
CHARLESTON, WV (October 1, 2020) – On Thursday, October 1 at 4:00 p.m., Kroger workers in West Virginia are staging car caravan protests in Charleston, Beckley and Parkersburg to call on the grocer to negotiate a fair union contract.
Protesters are meeting at each of the following locations at 4:00 p.m. to kickoff the caravans:
- Kroger #753, 930 Division St, Parkersburg, WV 26101
- Kroger #790, 133 Beckley Crossing Shopping Center, Beckley, WV 25801
- Kroger #772, 5717 MacCorkle Ave SE, Charleston, WV 25304
“With the pandemic continuing to take lives, we are holding socially distanced protests using car caravans to keep everyone safe,” explained UFCW Local 400 President Mark Federici.
Negotiations over a new union contract have been underway since August, but despite the support of federal mediators, the company is no closer to reaching a deal. The previous union contract expired on August 29 and is currently under extension until October 17. The union is advocating for better wages, healthcare and safe working conditions, including hazard pay for frontline associates continuing to work during the pandemic.
In August, UFCW confirmed there have been at least 103 grocery worker deaths and over 14,300 grocery workers infected or exposed to COVID-19. As a new investigation by Bloomberg recently reported, the actual national number of workers who have died, become sick, or been exposed, is likely much higher given that America’s largest food companies have launched an effort to hide the true human cost.
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.