Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) called on the CEOs of the country’s largest grocery store chains to reinstate hazard pay for their workers who are still on the frontlines of the pandemic as COVID-19 cases surpass 4.8 million nationwide.
In a new CNN op-ed, UFCW International President Marc Perrone and Senator Harris and condemn America’s largest grocery chains for cutting hazard pay for their workers, even as the companies report record sales and the threat from COVID-19 continues to endanger employees.
Excerpts from the op-ed are below:
“Grocery store workers are putting their lives on the line every day that they walk into the store. This pandemic is far from over and the health threats that grocery workers face are just as real now as they were when this crisis began.
“While top grocery chains rake in billions in profits during this pandemic, these frontline workers cannot choose to work from home like the corporate executives of these companies. Without these frontline workers, our families would not have the food we need to get through this public health crisis.
“Given the seriousness of this pandemic, and the essential jobs they do, the time has come to reinstate hazard pay for all of America’s grocery workers. For these brave men and women who continue to be on the frontlines of this crisis, our country should demand nothing less.”
Click here to read the full CNN op-ed from Senator Harris and UFCW.
UFCW has been a leading national voice in the call to strengthen protections and support for America’s 3 million grocery workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. As of today, UFCW confirmed that among its members, there have been at least 97 grocery worker deaths nationwide, with 7,188 grocery workers infected and at least 6,122 grocery workers exposed to COVID-19.
In its report on the first 100 days of COVID-19, UFCW confirmed that April experienced the highest single-month total for grocery worker deaths with 46 supermarket employees killed by COVID-19. May saw the grocery industry’s biggest overall monthly spike in COVID-19 cases with 5,901 new grocery workers infected or exposed.