Kroger to close more stores instead of giving workers hazard pay


By Eli Rosenberg, The Washington Post

Feb. 17, 2021?


Grocery giant Kroger plans to close two stores in Seattle after the city passed a $4-an-hour hazard pay mandate for grocery workers, drawing sharp rebukes from local officials and worker advocates who point to the company抯 booming sales as the pandemic continues to claim more than 2,000 lives a day.


Kroger, which recorded one of its more profitable years due to strong demand during the pandemic, blamed the closures on the city抯 new mandate, saying it would raise costs at the two Quality Food Centers (QFC), which were already underperforming.


揢nfortunately, Seattle City Council didn抰 consider that grocery stores ?even in a pandemic ?operate on razor-thin profit margins in a very competitive landscape,?the company said in a statement. 揥hen you factor in the increased costs of operating during covid-19, coupled with consistent financial losses at these two locations, and this new extra pay mandate, it becomes impossible to operate a financially sustainable business.?/p>


Hazard pay and other pandemic-related bonuses became popular...


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