Kroger Released A Statement Urging The Government To Consider Grocery Staff Emergency Personnel

Grocery stores are continuing to adjust their procedures in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to keep both customers and employees safe. Kroger has been updating the way they run frequently, and in a recent press release, the CEO urged the government to classify grocery store workers as extended first responders or emergency personnel.

The statement was released in conjunction with the United Food and Workers (UFCW) International Union, the largest food and retail union in the country. With this designation to employee’s titles, grocery store workers would have access to personal protection equipment (PPE) that they could use while working. In the statement by Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen and UFCW International President Marc Perrone, explained the urgency:

Given the significant daily risk these workers face, we are calling on all of our federal and state leaders to take immediate action. Specifically, we are requesting our nation’s leaders to assign a temporary designation of first responder or emergency personnel status for all grocery workers. Make no mistake, this designation is absolutely critical as it will ensure these frontline workers have priority access to personal protection equipment like masks and gloves.

Grocery stores everywhere are finding new ways to try and minimize risk and person-to-person contact. Some have installed barriers at check-out counters to lessen the amount of contact between cashiers and buyers, others have limited the number of returned items that are being accepted, and places like Publix are even allowing mobile payment so frequently touched surfaces like pin pads don’t need to be used.

Stay informed about how grocery stores near you are changing their policies here.

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