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May 18, 2020

Union Calls for Grocers to Extend Emergency COVID Pay Plans

SN: "The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union on Friday sent a letter to 49 CEOs of top U.S. supermarket chains — including Walmart, Costco, Whole Foods and many others — condemning them for a failure to extend emergency pay and protections for grocery workers who are working on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak. Retail and grocery industry observers are keeping a close watch on worker compensation as federal, state and local governments look to reopen businesses and public facilities and restart their economies — even as health authorities say the coronavirus threat remains amid stronger safety and social distancing measures. In the grocery retail sector, some companies have extended $2-per-hour bonus payments for store associates and other workers through May, while others have not announced extensions. As of May 15, the UFCW estimates that at least 65 grocery workers have died and 9,810 workers have become sick or been exposed to the COVID-19 pandemic. The UFCW is the largest food and retail union in the United States with 1.3 million members. In the letter, UFCW International President Marc Perrone urged retailers to reverse their decisions to end so-called hazard pay for their employees, and to publicly recognize that the health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to cost lives all across the country"...

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