Long Beach

The majority of Kroger workers suffer from food and housing insecurity, the report said. – Long Beach, California

Long Beach, California 2022-01-13 14:00:31 –

The Food 4 Less at the intersection of East South Street and Cherry Avenue on North Long Beach on Saturday, April 17, 2021. As a result of the City Hero Salary Ordinance, the store was closed by Kroger. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

Nearly two-thirds of Kroger’s employees aren’t making enough money to pay the basic costs each month, according to a report released Tuesday by Los Angeles-based nonprofit Economic Roundtable. increase.

As part of that, Kroger argues that the report is misleading.

Over the last two decades, working conditions at Kroger stores, including Ralphs and four-less food locations, have dropped significantly. According to the report.. The Long Beach area has 5 Ralphs, 3 Food 4 Less locations and hundreds of employees.

The two brands make up 38% of Kroger’s workforce nationwide.

Of the 63% of workers who are unable to pay the basic costs, 44% are unable to pay rent and 78% face various levels of food insecurity, according to the report. In addition, 14% of Kroger workers are currently homeless or have lived within the past year.

“Kroger’s workforce strategy relies on low-wage part-time workers whose schedules are constantly changing,” the report said.

Requested by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union’s local residents 7, 21, 324, and 770, this report is based on an independent survey of the largest retail workers in US history. UFCW Local 324 represents 607 workers in eight locations in the Long Beach area. Of those local employees, 72% are part-time, the union said in an email to the business journal.

Approximately 36,800 workers were surveyed in Washington, Colorado and Southern California. According to the Economic Roundtable, the completed survey was received from about 10,300 workers with a 28% response rate.

Kroger Issue a statement Citing a new report by a Washington, DC-based economic consulting firm, the report of the Economic Roundtable said Tuesday was misleading. ndp analysisWas hired by a grocery giant.

“…’Survey’… was conducted with limited data from selected communities to mislead workers in the Kroger Family of Companies and their compensation packages,” said Nam Pham, managing partner of ndpanalytics. Says. “The discussion is [company] We do not pay workers fairly and the highest market rates are not supported by real evidence. “

Kroger pays an average of $ 18.27 per hour, spending an additional $ 5.61 on medical and retirement benefits, and a total of $ 23.89 per hour in western states, including California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, according to Fam’s report. I’m spending. According to Kroger’s report, in about 27,000 stores in these four states, the company employs about 85,000 people, 70% of which are part-time.

“Kroger did not address any of the issues we raised in the report, nor did he try to refute any of the facts we presented,” the author of the Economic Roundtable report. Peter Dryel, one of the business journals. “Our report took more than 6 months and Kroger’s response seems to have happened within 24 hours of seeing our report.”

Kroger spokesman John Votava said the grocery store approached the New Democratic Party in the fall. It is unclear whether the decision was in response to a survey by the Economic Roundtable.

Dreier said his report covers food and housing anxiety, homelessness, psychological stress, schedule issues, heavy workloads, COVID-related workplace issues and wages, part-time employment, and inadequate staffing. He said he investigated the level of concern.

“”[Kroger] I tried to claim that it paid a decent wage, but didn’t specify what level of employees were included and they didn’t show some full-time or part-time, “Dreier said. “Kroger didn’t even look at the impact of these wages on the lives of our employees, which we’ll elaborate on in our report.”

Part-time employees make up 70% of Kroger’s workforce, according to a report from the Economic Roundtable. According to the report, the average annual working hours of these employees is 1,560 hours (30 hours a week), and many employees want to work more hours. One solution for struggling employees is to make them full-time with an hourly wage of $ 22. That’s $ 45,760 a year.

“But the average annual salary of Kroger workers is equal to $ 29,655,” the report said. “This is $ 16,105 less than the annual income required to pay for the basic necessities of living wages.”

The report outlines other recommendations for fixing the problems that Kroger faces for workers.

  • Housing assistance for those who are experiencing homelessness or who are facing the threat of eviction.
  • Doubled the share of full-time staff from 30% to 60%.
  • 50% discount on employee groceries.
  • Childcare subsidies for working parents.
  • One week in advance notice of schedule changes for part-time workers. If you do not notify us, you will be paid for overtime.
  • Two positions have been added to the Kroger Board of Directors for members elected by peers and the Regional Workers Representative Committee.
  • Revised the SNAP program guidelines to require living wages from grocery workers in stores that accept SNAP benefits.
  • Public support for food co-operatives that pay living wages in underserved areas.
  • Promotion of the Food Policy Council.

The Economic Roundtable was founded in 1983 as a research group within the Los Angeles County Government. In 1991, the Supervisory Board unanimously approved the conversion of the group into an independent research organization to address social and economic issues.Since that conversion, the group has carried out Dozens of sponsored projects It is from more than 80 foundations, non-profit organizations, public institutions and labor organizations.

The grocery store prospered in the COVID-19 pandemic. Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the United States, reported that operating profit in 2020 increased from $ 3 billion in 2019 to $ 4.06 billion. Despite soaring sales and profits, the company fought and defeated the “Hero Pay” ordinance in several cities. Large grocery stores pay a few dollars more per hour.

As a result, Kroger Shuttered many places, include Two on long beach, 3 in LA, 2 in Seattle. The announcement of the closure has sparked an immediate backlash by unions, workers and local politicians.

“Kroger has shown that their interests are in profits, not people,” District Councilman Rex Richardson said in an interview in April 2021.

The Hazard Wage Ordinance generated an additional $ 342.7 million in compensation in 2020. In the same year, the company spent more than $ 1.3 billion on stock repurchases. Meanwhile, Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen earned $ 22.4 million in 2020. Bloomberg Report..

The company is projected to raise $ 4.15 billion in 2021, according to a report from the Economic Roundtable.

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