Kroger to pay $100 to all workers who get COVID-19 vaccine, other perks

Union says grocery chain should restore hazard pay

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. on Friday announced that it will pay $100 to all of its employees who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

The grocery chain also will provide an additional $50 million to reward employees at stores and facilities across 35 states, including a $100 store credit and 1,000 fuel points for hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center workers.

“Through the unknowns of this pandemic, our associates have risen to the challenge,” Kroger spokesman Tim Massa stated. “Since March, we have invested more than $1.5 billion to both reward our associates and to safeguard our associates and customers through the implementation of dozens of safety measures that we continue to execute today. We’ve also welcomed more than 100,000 new associates to the Kroger family of companies.

“As we move into a new phase of the pandemic, we’re increasing our investment to not only recognize our associates’ contributions, but also encourage them to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available to them to optimize their well-being as well as the community’s,” Massa said.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents Kroger grocery workers nationwide, said the “one-time payment from Kroger is appreciated” but that it is pushing for Kroger to restore grocery hazard pay, which the union said was cut in the spring.

The rewards will be loaded on Feb. 11 to employees’ loyalty cards, according to a release from the company.

Employees must receive the full dose recommended for the COVID-19 vaccine and provide proof of vaccination to their human resources representative to be eligible for the one-time $100 vaccine payment, the company said.

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