PROTEST: Grocery workers demonstrate in ‘week of action for hazard pay’

Just outside Westwood Village this afternoon, QFC workers who are members of UFCW Local 21 demonstrated in support of “hazard pay” for themselves and other “essential workers.” It’s a national week of action on that topic, according to the union, which says QFC’s parent corporation Kroger “cut hazard pay” by mid-May. They are also advocating for the right to wear Black Lives Matter buttons on the job:

The union says stores have an inconsistent policy on the buttons and that some workers have been told not to wear them. Community members who heard about this came to this afternoon’s protest to show support:

We’re checking with the company on both issues.

18 Replies to "PROTEST: Grocery workers demonstrate in 'week of action for hazard pay'"

  • East Coast Cynic September 1, 2020 (3:54 pm)

    Good for them.  They work very hard under trying conditions.  I hope they get their hazard pay back since the pandemic is still going strong.

  • Jay P September 1, 2020 (3:57 pm)

    Hazard pay? Sure. BLM gear while on the job? No. Employers have many good reasons to disallow political statements in the workplace. If they allow employees to advocate one point of view while on the job they’d have to allow them all. Think about that for a minute.

  • Conner September 1, 2020 (5:20 pm)

    If you aren’t happy with working conditions and pay then leave. Do you know how many unemployed workers are fighting to get any kind of job and employment? Your jobs will be snapped up within 24 hrs. We are in a pandemic environment. This is not the norm so unfortunately we should be grateful for any employment.  

    • Ivan Weiss September 2, 2020 (8:36 am)

      This is the same tiresome right-wing crapola I have been hearing for years: “If you don’t like your job, leave.” It’s fraudulent, and it always has been. People don’t necessarily dislike their jobs. They want their jobs, and their working conditions, to be better. Their employers should want that, too. In the long run, it leads to a more motivated, more productive workforce, and a healthier “bottom line.”

      But, as we know, large corporations like Kroger are dominated by short-term thinkers, and short-term investors who demand ever-increasing profit curves, no matter the cost. Because to them, only money matters. People don’t.

      Well, for my part, we were a society before we were an economy, and human needs come first for me. I support the QFC workers 100 percent.

    • WSREZ September 2, 2020 (10:24 am)

      Wow Conner! Your grace and empathy are really something to admire. not. Be a good person, OR LEAVE. how about dat.

    • Sue L. September 2, 2020 (11:37 am)

      That’s just a cynical response! 

    • Kathy September 2, 2020 (11:46 am)

      What are you serious people need their job just like everyone else but when they risking their lives every day they deserve hazardous payand besides people on unemployment right now get way more than people working gets

    • Jerri September 5, 2020 (4:50 am)

      It’s clear that you are a person that works from home myself and others want and require essential pay I am on the frontlines as a truck driver yall was crying when we couldn’t get the products to the public fast enough from food, gas to medical supplies the food we bring don’t Jump off our truck by itself it takes the workers that u choose to complain about u are one of many ungrateful people 

    • Emily September 8, 2020 (3:37 pm)

      Are they? Are they really? Because i know for a fact how short staffed alllllllllll the essential jobs are right now, because I work in one. Last week alone, i pulled a 26 hour shift because we cant hire to save our lives, because unemployment pays better. Right this second? Not fully. But if you’re unemployed you get food stamps, back pay when fpuc gets passed, forgiveness on bills because you’re unemployed, etc etc etc. I calculated it. In my state at max benefits (because thats what i would be approved for)- after all is said and done with fpuc going down to 500 instead of 600. Not including the 300 extra unemployment weekly because its too variable- People on unemployment will make over $11,000 more than I am working, on the front lines, no extra benefits, treated like sh-t, mental health deteriorating, but “essential”. The moment hazard pay gets federally denied, be prepared for a nationwide shutdown that you cant even begin to fathom. No gasstations. No grocery stores. That place your grandma is staying til she dies? Closed. Fast food- closed. Takeout/delivery- closed. Everything you currently have at your disposal and have had this entire time because we stayed working? No more. I loved my job before the pandemic. Enough so to work in this industry for 8 years and become management. This is not what i signed up for. This is hazardous- which is outlined as exactly what is happening in the world, yet were the only ones not reeping benefits from it. 

  • Melissa September 1, 2020 (7:47 pm)

    Thanks, WSB. I read this and immediately wrote the following to QFC corporate in Bellevue. 

  • CeCeB September 1, 2020 (8:10 pm)

    Good on them. They deserve hazard pay! Thank you for all you guys are doing.  I do have to ask though, is this a COVID workers’ rights issue or BLM. Really tired of the messages getting skewed.

    • WSB September 1, 2020 (8:24 pm)

      The BLM issue was a side note but given the signs in the photos I had to mention it. The union’s focus right now is the hazard-pay issue – the “week of action” is nationwide.

  • Jake September 1, 2020 (10:01 pm)

    A job most customers took for granted for so many years.

    A big Thank You for all that the grocery workers have done in these trying times!

  • Seaview September 1, 2020 (10:07 pm)

    I think a case can be made for the intersection between COVID workers rights and Black Lives Matter. People of color are at greater risk from the pandemic than I am (I am white.) I support both.

  • Drew September 1, 2020 (10:49 pm)

    All is great… as a business owner though… I think all (everyone) needs to understand that as an “essential worker” employer… I have had workers “quit, or deny” work because they got another job, then use my biz to claim unemployment, and then come back asking to pick up shifts… SO- yes- thanks to all the essential workers, but then “whaaaa?” to those demanding “hazard pay” due the pandemic…? makes no sense.  I admit my “essential work” job status would, and should, (and thankfully NOT), eliminate my ability to conduct business… BUT- I am NOT demanding them to work… they are essentially “begging” me for shifts. They receive TIPS.  “IF” they want the luxury to receive tips from “amazingly supportive” customer/friend/community peeps… then…whaaa? Hazard Pay?  Stop saying that some businesses are recklessly demanding them to do so!  I am willing to work ALL shifts.  I just thought I was (as a business) supporting and helping my former staff… never mind needing help so that I can “homeschool” my kid.  Y’all are crazy!  Sorry… don’t get it.

  • payattention September 2, 2020 (1:24 pm)

    CONNER. Jokes on YOU. Safeway and QFC have been and continue to advertise for help. 

  • CO September 3, 2020 (4:18 pm)

    I’m glad Conner is here and has the freedom and privilege to voice his opinion  even though I don’t agree with it, I’m glad to see different perspectives.  I hope he reads all the other comments and can gain other perspectives too and who knows he might even change his mind. Thank you WSB for holding space for diverse ideas/ opinions. 

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