A new report is out showing how bad the economic reality is for many Kroger workers.
Keep in mind that this is a company that has enjoyed huge profits since the pandemic began as more Americans choose grocery shopping over restaurants. Kroger rakes in billions in profit a year on sales of over $130 billion. This no mom and pop shop. It’s the 7th largest private employer in the US with 435,000 employees.
And its CEO’s compensation jumped to $20.6 million.
Yet many of Kroger’s workers live in misery because of low pay.
The report states that “The living and working conditions of Kroger workers have declined markedly over the past 20 years. Kroger’s current low-wage, part-time workforce strategy relies on poorly-paid, part-time workers with constantly changing schedules.”
“Even though food surrounds Kroger grocery workers every hour on their job,” the report continues, “over three-quarters of Kroger workers are food insecure, based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture food security assessment tool. These workers cannot afford balanced and healthy food. They run out of food before the end of the month, skip meals, and are hungry sometimes.”
But probably the most shocking of all numbers is the one showing rampant homelessness among the company’s workforce. The report states:
“Fourteen percent of Kroger workers are homeless now or have been homeless during the past year. The rate of homelessness decreases as earnings increase. However, because Kroger’s wage structure is depressed and part-time employment is so prevalent, homelessness still occurs among workers in the top wage bracket. Even among full-time employees, nine percent have experienced homelessness.
Thirty-six percent of Kroger workers say that they worry about being evicted. Concern about eviction increases with age until workers are in their mid-fifties. This corresponds with the years when workers are most likely to have children in their households.”
For the full report, visit the Economic Roundtable here.