Virginia labor group opposes Kroger's decision to cancel its relationship with APP-owned, Virginia-based Mercury Paper, says action based on discredited claims, calls for Kroger to reverse decision

RICHMOND, Virginia , December 23, 2011 (press release) – Grocery retailer’s decision to capitulate to activist demands may close local paper company and cost millions

Over 150 jobs at stake by The Kroger Co.’s decision to cede to radical green demands

The Coalition to Protect Virginia Jobs (CPVJ) warns the decision by The Kroger Co., the nation’s largest grocer, to capitulate to out-of-state activist groups Greenpeace and WWF will cost 150 Virginian jobs and over $21 million in state investments.

“The decision by The Kroger Co. to stop carrying high-quality, low-cost and locally produced paper products the day before Christmas Eve to comply with Greenpeace’s extremist demands is despicable,” said AFP-Virginia state director and CPVJ founding member Audrey Berkshire Jackson. “Imagine The Kroger Co. telling 150 of its employees the day before Christmas that they no longer have a job… this is the very same thing!”

“Greenpeace has bullied leading retailers in the past, and today is no different,” stated Mark Lloyd, chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation. “Yet The Kroger Co. had a choice to help hardworking Americans and failed to do so. If people don’t have jobs they can’t go shopping at The Kroger Co. The Kroger Co. should reverse this callous decision.”

The Kroger Co.’s justification it gives for cancelling its relationship with the Mercury Paper Company is based on false and discredited claims. Considered an industry leader, Mercury received an A-plus rating by a Global Reporting Initiative Co. environmental sustainability report in 2011. And contrary to claims by Greenpeace and WWF, Mercury sources its material from already degraded or barren land and therefore does not threaten the rainforest. The Kroger Co.’s decision to engage in Greenpeace and WWF’s smear campaign is unjustified.

With this decision, The Kroger Co. has denigrated and disregarded the many elected officials – including Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, State Senator Mark Obenshain, State Delegate Todd Gilbert and Strasburg Mayor Timothy Taylor – who have spoken up in defense of local jobs and Mercury Paper.

“The Coalition to Protect Virginia Jobs will continue to fight for Virginians’ jobs and urge The Kroger Co. and other American big box companies to protect hard working Americans, while urging The Kroger Co. to reconsider its decision,” Jackson added.

In 2010, Mercury opened its headquarters in Strasburg, VA - a region that had seen unemployment hit a high of 9.7 percent. At a time when some other companies were reining in investment and cutting jobs, Mercury demonstrated a dedication to creating prosperity and opportunity for people in Virginia.

To speak with a Coalition to Protect Virginia Jobs representative, please e-mail or call (804) 426-5392.

To learn more about the coalition, please visit

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Coalition to Protect Virginia Jobs
The Coalition to Protect Virginia Jobs (CPVJ) is sponsored by Americans for Prosperity - Virginia (AFP-VA) and the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation with the aim of urging Kroger, Target and others to continue to source from local Virginia supplier, Mercury Paper, and reject the smear campaign of Greenpeace that threatens jobs and the livelihoods of hard working Virginians.

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