Norfolk Kroger employees demand answers after Farm Fresh purchase

Posted at 12:48 PM, May 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 15:38:29-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Kroger is expanding with the purchase of area farm fresh stores but some employees feel they may now lose their jobs.

Employees at the Norfolk location on East Little Creek Road marched into the store Thursday morning chanting "We want answers".

Kroger is planning to renovate and reopen the former Farm Fresh right across the street as a new Kroger.

The employees want to know if will they be able to transfer to that location because they feel their store will be shut down.

UFCW Local 400 representatives said they will likely be forced to quit and reapply at the new store, even though it's in walking distance.

They also fear they might not be rehired.

After marching into the store, the employees handed over a signed petition to management, which is directed to Jerry Clontz, president of Kroger Mid-Atlantic Division, demanding answers.

“They say they don’t know what’s going to happen,” Marjorie Mathena, an employee for 18 years, said. “But my question is, if you are the owner of the store, you own this businesses, why you don’t know what’s gonna happen with us. Why we wait til the last minute to tell us what’s going to happen.”

UFCW Local 400 is holding a Kroger Jobs Town Hall next Thursday, May 10, at 6 p.m to continue their demand for answers.

Allison McGee, corporate affairs manager for Kroger Mid-Atlantic, gave News 3 the following statement on the recall Thursday:

We know many of our associates are curious about the newly purchased Farm Fresh stores. Our focus right now is on interviewing and onboarding former Farm Fresh associates to welcome them to our Kroger team. Kroger is actively communicating with associates and we will continue to do so as these new stores get closer to opening. This is an exciting time of transition for Kroger in Hampton Roads and we’re excited about our growth in the community.