Local union fighting to extend hazard pay for Fred Meyer employees

SPOKANE, Wash. — A local union representing thousands of grocery and commercial food workers says it’s “extremely disappointed” with Kroger’s decision to not extend the $2-per-hour hazard pay bonus to hundreds of Fred Meyer employees.

Gov. Jay Inslee extended the state’s stay-home-order through May 31.

In a post on Facebook, United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1439 posted “This crisis does not end on May 16th, and neither should workers’ hazard pay.”

In a statement to 4 News Now, UFCW Local 1439 President Eric Renner said:

“On May 1, 2020 I received notification from Kroger that the “Hero Bonus” premium, which adds $2.00 per hour premium is expected to end May 16th, 2020. Kroger acknowledges that masks and social distancing will continue past the expiration of the premium. In summary the Company understands that the risk is still there to contract COVID-19, sales have increased immensely but the “Hero Bonus” that our Frontline Workers have received for their sacrifice is expected to expire. I agree with Kroger that our Frontline Workers are Heroes, but I disagree that they will stop being Heroes on May 16th. This is extremely disappointing to our members and our community. I will be communicating with Kroger to ask them to reconsider.”

Jeffery Temple, Director of Fred Meyer Corporate Affairs told 4 News Now:

“We recognize that every state has a unique plan and timeframe for reopening and we will continue to review plans for our associates.”