MINNEAPOLIS — As people flood local groceries stores to stock up on food and supplies, employees have been given a raise at two local chains.
According to the Star Tribune, Kowalski's and Cub Foods are giving their employees a $2 raise and double-time pay for overtime hours. Cub stores made the pay increase retroactive to last Sunday, and will carry through April 11, the Star Tribune reports.
As grocery store workers continue to have consistent interactions with the public, the union representing them is asking Gov. Tim Walz to classify grocery stores workers as Tier 1 critical responders.
In a statement to KARE 11, UFCW Local 663 President Matt Utecht said, “Our grocery store members are on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19. As such, they should be protected as other first responders. Our members provide essential services to Minnesotans. This would qualify retail grocery members to the same level of benefits and protections the current list of Tier 1 “critical first responders” receive and includes mandated day care available from local schools.”
Grocery workers in Minnesota are now considered "essential tier 2 workers" following an emergency declaration from Gov. Walz, which means that school districts have to provide childcare for grocery workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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