Frontline Grocery Workers in Texas Push for Vaccine Priority, Hazard Pay – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

As vaccination efforts for COVID-19 continue in the US, food industry workers at the forefront of the Texan industry are pushing for some priority to get the vaccine.

All or part of 13 states say food workers can now be vaccinated, according to a report in the Dallas Morning News, but Texas is not one of those states.

According to the United Food and Commercial Workers, a union that represents 1.3 million food, meat packaging, and food processing workers, food workers in Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska can , New, York, Virginia, and Wyoming are vaccinated.

Members of the UFCW said frontline workers in the food industry should continue to receive a hazard payment as COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to peak in the US, but many employers do not reflect that reality in the workplace.

UFCW president Marc Perrone said the threats to key workers are worse than they were in the early days of the pandemic.

The union estimates 400 frontline workers in the US have died of COVID-19 and 77,600 workers have been infected or exposed to the virus, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Dawn Hand, a Houston-based Kroger business employee, reported to the Dallas Morning News that 500 Kroger employees in the Houston area have been infected since Christmas and that their business is now in “worse shape” than it was in the earlier days of the pandemic.

Hand said Kroger was “acting like the pandemic is over”, adding that her business is lacking in cleaning supplies and that she needs more staff to maintain the business.

On Tuesday, Kroger offered to pay employees vaccinated against COVID-19 $ 100.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Walmart said it “strongly encourages all employees to get vaccinated once they are eligible, but does not encourage anyone to get the vaccine.”

Walmart said it has no plans to incentivize people to get the vaccine, but the business is offering three days of paid sick leave to those who experience side effects from the vaccine, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Last week, supermarket workers in Long Beach, Calif., Protested outside a Food 4 Less supermarket after the store’s parent company, Kroger, decided to close two supermarkets instead of giving workers an additional $ 4 an hour hazard pay for theirs Work to be paid during the pandemic.

Kroger said Tuesday that he would like to thank every hourly front-line worker with $ 100 in credit and 1,000 gas stations, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Perrone told the Dallas Morning News that much of what the grocery stores do means “good PR,” adding that workers outside of grocery shopping have higher costs.

The UFCW said local unions helped pay new food hazards in Seattle, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Francisco and Oakland last week.

In response, Trader Joe’s reported expanded risk payments to all grocers, including in Texas, the Dallas Morning News reported.

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