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Grocery store workers seek hazard pay during pandemic

Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 6:56 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Grocery store workers have been essential workers since the beginning of the pandemic.

Now the United Food and Commercial Workers Union wants grocery store chains to provide hazard pay for its members.

The UFCW says some store chains like Kroger offered hazard pay for a short time but have since changed to gift cards as bonuses.

Dale Parker is the Area Director of the UFCW Local 75 and says “We have been in a fight with them since the beginning making sure that they compensate the employees who are out there on the front line.”

Kroger issued a statement saying in part. “Since March, we have invested more than $1.3 billion to both rewards our associates (i.e., Appreciation Pay, Hero Bonus, Thank You Pay, store credits and fuel points, etc.)”

Parker says “Give them something in their hourly rate so they can use that money and use it for bills and other expenses that they have incurred.”

The UFCW says it would also like it’s workers to get priority as frontline workers for the COVID vaccine. Kroger says it’s working with state and local health departments on it’s guidelines for vaccine distribution.

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