Thursday, April 09, 2020

Grocery Workers Beginning To Get Sick & Some Have Died

(Cartoon image is by Sarah Mirk at

Most people understand and appreciate the heroic work being done by doctor's, nurses, and first responders. But they aren't the only ones that are essential to our well-being. One thing that is necessary to our health is food, and we can't get that food without the cashiers, stockers, greeters, and other employees working in our grocery stores.

Those people are also putting themselves in danger to provide us with that food -- and now they are starting to get sick. Some have already died. They cannot avoid the public, and have little protection fro the Coronavirus. Most work with just a mask (which may or may not protect them from getting the virus).

At least four grocery chains have said dozens of their employees are getting sick from the Coronavirus -- and at least four deaths have been reported. Many more will likely follow before this pandemic is over.

Making matters even worse is the pay and benefits offered these workers. Most receive low pay and scanty benefits. That has always been inexcusable, but in the midst of the pandemic, it is almost criminal.

No one working a full-time job should have to live in poverty, but many of these workers do. It is time to pass a minimum wage law that will insure these workers (and all other workers) a livable wage -- a minimum of at least $15.00 an hour. And it's time to provide all workers (and other citizens) with decent health insurance.

Republican officials will join all others to praise these workers, but they won't provide them a livable wage or decent health insurance. They have voted against both many times in the past.

Do you consider the workers who provide your food (and other necessities) to be "essential". If you do,  then you need to vote Blue in November. It's time to reward hard workers, and the least we could do for them is insure a livable wage and good health care. Democrats will provide that -- Republicans won't.

Talk is cheap. It is time for action.

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