DETROIT—Yesterday, May 15, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), along with fellow Michigan Congressmembers Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Andy Levin (MI-09), and Haley Stevens (MI-11), sent a letter to The Kroger Company, the largest US supermarket by revenue, calling on it to maintain the $2 per hour “Hero Pay” it previously instituted in response to worker concerns at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The letter comes amid news that the grocery chain would end workers’ “Hero Pay” nationwide Sunday, May 17. Michigan remains a hotspot for COVID-19, with 48,391 confirmed cases and 4,674 deaths, including four Kroger workers in the state. As such, the lawmakers contend, Michigan Kroger workers are at particular risk.
“As long as this health crisis persists and Kroger is open for business, Kroger has a duty to continue Hero Pay for its brave workers,” the lawmakers wrote. “Ending Hero Pay while Kroger employees continue to put themselves at great risk is a slap in the face to everyone who has enabled your doors to remain open. Kroger’s competitors continue to provide hazard pay to frontline employees, and Kroger must do the same.”
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union has led a protest of the Kroger Company’s decision to reverse “Hero Pay”. According to the union, they are awaiting a decision from the grocery chain on potentially maintaining the extra $2 per hour for its workers.
The full text of the letter can be read here.