After her store closed last year, Kroger transferred Felecia, who has worked as a cashier at Kroger for 18 years, to a Kroger store two hours away from where she lives, despite the fact that Felecia had applied for a transfer to a Kroger Marketplace store just minutes from her home. Kroger repaid Felecia for nearly two decades of loyalty by giving her a dismal choice: either work at the store two hours away, or be left jobless.
Two weeks ago, things got even worse for Felecia. According to her doctors, the stress and physical difficulty of the “insane” commute led to Felecia having a stroke on the bus on her long way to work.
To put a stop to this unfair situation, Local 400 created a petition that demands Kroger let Felecia transfer stores immediately. Felecia’s coworkers and supporters gathered more than 330 signatures to support her. Felecia, who must currently use a wheel-chair following her stroke, delivered the petition to store managers at last week’s rally, which drew many supporters who agreed that, with a Kroger Marketplace within eyesight and walking distance of her home, there’s no excuse for forcing Felecia to continue working two hours away. She was joined by several coworkers, union representatives, elected officials and community leaders, including Senator L. Louise Lucas, (18th District), Delegate Steve Heretick (79th District), and James Boyd, President of the NAACP Portsmouth Branch.
“They’re discriminating against her in effect because she’s a union member,” explained Delegate Heretick.
Addressing the crowd, Senator Lucas said “this is the kind of effort we all like to stand in agreement with.”
However, the store manager immediately threatened to call the police.
Every TV news outlet in the area, as well as the main local newspaper, came out to interview Felecia.
“I live right around the street from Kroger, ten minutes away,” Felecia explained to News Channel 3. “Now how come I have to go all the way to Virginia Beach, which takes me two hours, to a job that I have worked for for almost 18 years? I mean, it’s just not fair.”
“I have to take three buses and a light rail just to get to work,” explained Felecia.
Local 400 is urging people to continue to pressure the company to do the right thing, by calling them at their Portsmouth location at (757) 215-4205, and telling the manager to honor Felecia’s request and immediately transfer her to the Kroger Marketplace in Portsmouth with all the benefits and protections of her union contract intact.