Grocery store employees are being asked to work on the front-lines of the current healthcare crisis.

Many of them don’t have a choice about working. They need the money to pay rent and survive.

I realize people need to eat, but what about our exposure? Do I feel safe? Not really, it’s scary.

Grocery Store Checkout Employee

…or something like this:

I didn’t sign up to be in a position where I’m constantly exposed to a deadly virus, but I understand too that if grocery stores close then there are way bigger problems

Philip, Whole Foods Employee

It should be made law that employees receive masks.

Not only do they have to risk catching diseases spread by customers, but they have to deal with nonsense.

Read this: https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-grocery-store-supermarket-clerks-heroes-safe-20200328.html

Grocery store employees are unsung heroes on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Not only do they risk infection to keep our families fed and our pantries full, they offer one of the last remaining opportunities to interact with another human being. And they’re forced to deal with unending complaints from anxious customers about out-of-stock items and special “senior shopping hours” seen by some as an inconvenience.

At a grocery store in Northeast Pennsylvania, a woman was arrested after she intentionally coughed on $15,000 worth of produce and claimed she had coronavirus. Instead of running out of the store, more than a dozen employees helped throw out items and clean up the area.

That doesn’t sound like fun, does it? And some employee likely had to bag up and throw away that produce. Do you think they were given a full hazmat suit to do?

But these employees don’t see themselves as Heroes. They seem themselves as employees who have to come to work or risk getting fired.

Read: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/i-work-grocery-store-dont-call-me-hero/610147/

I’m grateful to be acknowledged for the risky work we’re doing. Being in an environment where morale is up despite global uncertainty is encouraging. But I have a problem with all this hero talk. It’s a pernicious label perpetuated by those who wish to gain something—money, goods, a clean conscience—from my jeopardization.

Karleigh Frisbie Brogan, The Atlantic

Give employees masks!

Setting them up to be sacrifices.

Many grocery store employees have expressed their concerns about what being called a hero really means. Think about all the other professions that are called heroes.

  • Firefighters
  • Enlisted Soldiers
  • Police Officers

What do these jobs have in common? They are dangerous. People die.

Propping up grocery store employees as “heroes” is a way to label them as people who may be sacrificed in the name of the economy, which is unacceptable and heartless.

  • Grocery store employees did not choose a job they expected to be dangerous and possibly kill them.
  • Most grocery store employees don’t have many other career opportunities.
  • Frequently grocery stores employ either very young or very elderly employees as a big part of their workforces.
  • These employees are often paid either minimum wage or within 25% of minimum wage. Other jobs where you can die offer significantly better pay.
  • Most grocery store jobs don’t come with any kind of health insurance.