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Grocery workers’ union calls for extension of hazard pay

A Giant Food store in Olney, which opened in 2019. (PRNewswire photo/Giant Food)

A Giant Food store in Olney, which opened in 2019. (PRNewswire photo/Giant Food)

A union chapter that represents workers at Giant Food stores is calling for the grocer to extend hazard pay and maintain coronavirus safety measures.

The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday that Giant plans to cancel its 10% “recognition pay” on May 30. The pay has been in place since mid-March.

Giant spokeswoman Felis Andrade said that grocery stores are no longer among the only businesses open. She added that the company is transitioning to a new normal.

The company said it will offer one-time bonuses on July 1 of $400 for full-time workers and $200 for part-time workers.

Two locals of United Food & Commercial Workers say Giant should extend the temporary pay increase until the pandemic ends. They argue that workers took extra risks during the pandemic and continue to do so while no vaccine is available.

Jason Chorpenning, president of UFCW Local 27, said that “nothing is getting back to normal.”

The union is also calling on Giant to restrict customer traffic to a maximum of 50 customers at any one time.

The union estimates that more than 65 workers have died across the country and that more than 9,800 have been infected by the virus.

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