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Kroger adds monthly surcharge for unvaccinated workers and cuts their COVID-19 sick leave

The country’s largest traditional grocery store chain, with almost 500,000 employees, said vaccinations are a focus for the company

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Kroger

The country’s largest supermarket operator is handing down the ultimate punishments to employees unvaccinated against COVID-19. Beginning next year, Kroger will take away paid leave for unvaccinated employees who get COVID-19 and will require some to pay a monthly health insurance surcharge.

A company spokeswoman said the policies will be implemented in order to encourage staff to make the choice to get the vaccine. Fully vaccinated employees who get breakthrough cases, however, will still be provided paid leave.

Kroger is one of the country’s biggest employers with about 465,000 workers. The announcement was made by the supermarket giant on Tuesday when a companywide memo was sent out. The changes will take effect on January 1st. The company will continue its policy of offering a $100 incentive to all employees who become fully vaccinated.

“As we prepare to navigate the next phase of the pandemic, we are modifying policies to encourage safe behaviors including vaccination,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.
Starting next year, salaried, non-union employees who are unvaccinated and enrolled in the company’s health insurance plan must pay a monthly $50 surcharge, the company spokeswoman said.

CNBC reports:

The announcement comes as the spread of the omicron variant creates new uncertainty about how businesses should operate and when corporate employees will return to the office. New York and California have reinstated mask mandates, regardless of vaccination status. That’s led to retailers posting entrance signs reminiscent of the earlier months of the pandemic, reminding customers they must put on masks before stepping inside. Some companies, including Google, have pushed back plans to require employees to return to the office in January.

Other companies have also tightened rules around Covid vaccinations or added penalties for employees who do not get them. Starting in November, unvaccinated Delta Air Lines employees must pay a $200 monthly surcharge for health insurance.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Kevin Johnson

    December 16, 2021 at 8:37 am

    Kevin Johnson

  2. Mike

    December 16, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Might be time to boycott Kroger. I’ll take American freedoms over a big time grocery store anytime

  3. KS_Tadpole

    December 16, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Will they take away vacation pay for infected vaccinated employees?

  4. M. Jones

    December 16, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Guess I will be limiting my shopping at Kroeger, as to support their hard working employees who continued to work throughout the pandemic. Not fair to penalize employees for not getting a vaccine that hasn’t even been proven effective. And, if they have health issues or have a religious belief that goes against having a vaccine put in their body, that contains fetal matter, from embryo tissue, that’s really wrong. Many jobs out there right now. Hopefully, they’ll all find a better employer.

  5. Blue Ridge Mama

    December 16, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Very stupid choice on their part…

  6. Javaman

    December 16, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    I will never set foot in one of there stores for the rest of my life.

  7. Gloria B SWARD

    December 16, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    BOYCOTT–It is against the First Amendment Rights. Do they have any young men between 18-25? Will they take responsibility if any one of these young men are adversely affected by heart conditions as a result of the vaccine? They better prepare for lawsuits.

  8. Rhonda

    December 16, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    With the Covid pandemic our current socialist-headed Democrats have been given a head start on controlling the population thru mandates and scare tactics. I love the way the word “choice” is used.

    • Brenda Bullard

      December 27, 2021 at 1:14 am

      those Democrats dropped their slogan, “My Body My Choice” REAL FAST! And in their case it wasn’t even THEIR body! But these people are being forced to take the shot through intimidation and it actually IS their own body!

  9. LesHL

    December 16, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    Time for these 5000,000 employees to unionize, strike and shut them down. Any of these large corporations that demand, and punish employees needs to be punished themselves! Forcing anyone to put something in their body, they don’t want or believe in through intimidation is disgusting and probably illegal.

  10. Word7

    December 16, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Tyrants, I won’t be shopping St Krogers anymore.

  11. Shelly

    December 16, 2021 at 8:05 pm

    Don’t shop there anyway. That is outrageous!

  12. Cynthia Banks

    December 16, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    I have shopped at the Smith’s in Mesquite Nevada for the last eleven years. That stops today. How dare you blackmail your employees many who have become very dear to me. Take your company and shove it.

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COVID-19

New data reveals NIH scientists collected $710 Million in royalties during pandemic

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New data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reveal that the agency and its scientists collected $710 million in royalties from late 2021 through 2023. These payments, made by private companies such as pharmaceutical firms, are for licensing medical innovations developed by government scientists. A significant portion of these funds — $690 million — was directed to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, and its 260 scientists.

An in depth report by the New York Post reveals that the vast majority of the royalties collected during the pandemic era went to NIAID, the subagency under Dr. Fauci. The NIH has been secretive about disclosing details of this private royalty complex. OpenTheBooks.com, an organization advocating for government transparency, had to sue to uncover royalties paid from September 2009 to October 2021, which amounted to $325 million over 56,000 transactions. A second lawsuit, with Judicial Watch as counsel, was necessary to release the latest data.

During the pandemic, royalty payments to the NIH more than doubled compared to the previous twelve years combined, amounting to $1.036 billion. However, it remains unclear if royalties from COVID-19 vaccines, particularly from Pfizer and Moderna (the latter having agreed to pay $400 million to NIH), are included in these figures. The NIH has not provided clarity on this matter.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key figure in the U.S. COVID-19 response, is set to testify before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic to address potential conflicts of interest and transparency issues that have plagued NIH’s handling of royalties and FOIA requests.

Fauci’s deputy, Dr. David Morens, has been implicated in using strategies to circumvent the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), such as misspelling words and using physical couriers for messages. These actions have drawn significant criticism and calls for greater transparency.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has sponsored the Royalty Transparency Act, which has unanimously passed the committee stage and is awaiting a floor vote. This act aims to provide greater transparency regarding royalty payments to government scientists.

 

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