Tags: Coronavirus | grocery | stores | workers | testing | covid19

Grocery Workers Kept in the Dark Amid Pandemic

Grocery Workers Kept in the Dark Amid Pandemic
Deemed an essential business, Walmart stores remained open during the new coronavirus pandemic. (Phelan M. Ebenhack via AP)

By    |   Sunday, 24 May 2020 03:51 PM

Grocery workers were kept in the dark about health risks amid the coronavirus pandemic, and some supermarkets did not disclose cases of infected or dead workers to local health officials and retaliated against employees who raised safety concerns, according to an investigate report published Sunday by The Washington Post.

The article notes outbreaks at a Walmart in Quincy and Worcester, Massachusetts. The Post interviewed about 40 former and current employees of more than 30 supermarkets.

Deemed an essential business, Walmart stores remained open during the new coronavirus pandemic. So did many other grocery supermarkets. 

"We have had consistent problems with Walmart," Quincy health commissioner Ruth Jones wrote to the state attorney general in an April 28 email. "They have a cluster of COVID cases among employees and have not been cooperative in giving us contact information or in following proper quarantine and isolation guidelines."

A day later, the Worcester Walmart was ordered shuttered by a local public health director after an internal company list showed almost two dozen employees had tested positive, per the report.

Once widespread testing was instituted, 119 of the workers at those two sites had confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to health officials.

"We really need to have better communication," Worcester public health director Karyn Clark told the Post. "There's got to be something moving forward . . . that changes the current process."

The $800 billion grocery industry employs more than 3 million Americans, many at low pay and little in the way of job security.

"Our associates are playing a critical role in helping people have access to fresh food, medicine, and critical supplies during this crisis, and their safety is our highest priority," Walmart spokesman Lorenzo Lopez told the Post.

"In areas experiencing community-wide outbreaks like Quincy and Worcester, our associates also felt the impact as members of those communities. We work closely with public health and medical experts and follow their guidance in implementing safety and health measures for our associates and customers."

At least 5,500 grocery workers nationwide have tested positive for the virus, and at least 100 have died since late March, according to data reviewed by the Post. 

"While some companies are doing the right thing and keeping shoppers and employees informed, there are still some keeping consumers in the dark and trying to sweep this information under the rug," United Food and Commercial Workers International Union President Marc Perrone told the Post.

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


   
1Like our page
2Share
US
Grocery workers were kept in the dark about health risks amid the coronavirus pandemic, and some supermarkets did not disclose cases of infected or dead workers to local health officials and retaliated against employees who raised safety concerns, according to an...
grocery, stores, workers, testing, covid19
404
2020-51-24
Sunday, 24 May 2020 03:51 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved