LETTER: Pay essential workers what they are owed
To the editor:
My name is Bryan, I have worked in grocery for twenty years and for the last 10 years I have worked for Fred Meyer. This has been the year from Hell to put it lightly. With everything happening with the outbreak and the constant stress is getting to my fellow workers and I.
My fellow coworkers and I are putting ourselves in harm's way everyday and gambling with our lives and our families lives every time we stock the shelves at your local supermarket. We pray and take as many precautions as we can so we do not bring home this pandemic to our families.
It would seem fair to us that our employers would compensate us for the risk we are putting ourselves and our families through. At first, they did give us "Hero pay", but every couple of weeks they would take it away and as of June 13th we are no longer receiving any sort of Hazard pay. Making us feel like we are pawns in some sort of game and being played. All of us are just tired of the state of limbo, and basically tired of corporate treating us as if it is Business as usual.
But, it is not business as usual, as of May 21st , 68 of our fellow grocery workers have died of Covid across the nation. This seems like to us, as if corporate is playing Russian Roulette with our lives, everytime we go to work. We should feel safe at work, if corporate can not protect us during this crisis then they should at least give us compensation until the crisis is over.
All that we are asking is $3.00 per hour for regular work hours and $5.00 per hour for overtime until the crisis is over and we get an all clear.
They call us Essential, they Call us Heroes, they make announcements over the intercoms and commercials for radio and tv. But all of those seem like a hollow gesture, without a significant hazard pay.