Merk argiewe: Bernie

Bernie Sanders writes blistering open letter to Kroger CEO about ‘corporate greed’

Bernie Sanders writes blistering open letter to Kroger CEO about ‘corporate greed’
“In total, your workers in Colorado could see their wages cut by as much as $3.34 an hour after factoring in cuts to overtime and other benefits,” Sanders writes

Senator Bernie Sanders sent the hoof uitvoerende beampte van Kroger grocery stores a blistering letter demanding he treat his employees better amid a worker strike in Colorado.

Mr Sanders, long an advocate for workersrights and unions, wrote the letter to W. Rodney McMullen, the chairman and CEO of Kroger, to express his “strong support” for the “over 8,000 United Food and Commercial Local 7 workers at 78 Kroger-owned King Sooper grocery stores in Colorado who are on strike”.

Meer as 8,000 grocery workers walked off the job in Colorado on 12 January to demand better wages and benefits, as well as increased health and safety measures.

He noted that workers at the grocery stores are asking for increased wages, improvement to their health and disability benefits, and an end to the existing “two-tier” vacation and holiday structure.

“Given that over 1,000 Plaaslik 7 King Sooper employees have contracted Covid-19 and five have passed away and the tragic shooting at a Boulder location nearly one year ago, workers are also calling for increased workplace health and safety protocols,” Mr Sanders wrote.

The senator said he spoke with workers from the grocery stores and learned that the company’s current offer would provide only a 13 cent per-hour raise, but would also slash their healthcare benefits and make structural changes that would reduce hours and overtime earnings.

Verder, he said the stores would give preference to gig workers and force employees to sign an anticompetitve “favoured employer” clause that would reduce wages and benefits for employers if other local grocery stores offered lower pay and more meager benefits packages.

“In total, your workers in Colorado could see their wages cut by as much as $3.34 an hour after factoring in cuts to overtime and other benefits," hy het geskryf.

Mr Sanders then pointed out that Mr McMullen is paid $20m per year and that during the pandemic he received a $6.4m increase in total compensation. He also noted that the company is providing more than $1.5bn in stock buybacks and dividends to shareholders.

The senator compared that to the fact that “many of the workers at Kroger live in poverty and are forced to rely on food stamps and other forms of public assistance subsidized by middle class taxpayers”, citing a recent report showing 14 per cent of Kroger employees are or have been homeless within the past year. It went on to note that 68 per cent are food insecure.

“This is precisely the type of corporate greed that the American people are sick and tired of,” Mr Sanders wrote. “If Kroger can afford to pay you over $20m and can afford to hand out $1.5bn in stock buybacks and dividends for its wealthy shareholders, it can afford to provide grocery store workers – the true heroes and heroines of this pandemic – good wages, good benefits, safe working conditions and reliable work schedules.”