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Around 8,400 workers of the supermarket chain King Soopers, owned by Kroger, went on strike in Colorado asking for higher wages and health care benefitsThis after a new study revealed that 75% of employees are food insecure.
All 8,400 unionized employees at King Soopers walked off the job Wednesday morning, demanding higher wages, better retirement benefits and a safer work environment in these times of pandemic.
The Kroger company called the strike reckless and selfish, and hired outside workers to replace unemployed staff.. About half of its 151 King Sooper locations were affected.
The union that represents the workers, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, said that while its members made sure customers received food throughout the pandemic, the workers themselves couldn’t afford to buy food because it wasn’t enough, according to It was reported in the New York Post.
Food insecurity rate for Kroger workers is seven times higher than the national average, according to a survey published Monday by the Economic Roundtable where it interviewed more than 10,000 Kroger employees, including some of those who are now on strike.
The average full-time employee earns less than $30,000, and nearly two-thirds of workers say they don’t make enough money to pay expenses and meet basic needs.
39% of grocery store clerks surveyed said they can’t pay for groceries themselves.
Kroger is one of the largest employers in the United States, with almost half a million workers. 14% of respondents also reported being currently homeless or having been homeless in the past year.
The supermarket giant, which increased its shares by almost 50% last year, said it is disappointed by the strike and that the Economic Rountable survey is misleading.
Kroger says it gives its employees competitive wages and offers jobs to communities in need.
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