2 States Have a New Name for These Workers

After all, grocery clerks are serving an essential need during a pandemic
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2020 3:54 PM CDT
2 States Have a New Name for These Workers
This file photo shows Clerk Allison Ure lifting groceries she's bagged in a plastic sack at the M Street Grocery in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Your local grocery clerk may just have a new designation: emergency worker. That's what Minnesota and Vermont have decided as they add grocery clerks to the list of emergency personnel who get free child care, Mother Jones reports. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is telling closed schools to keep providing child care for emergency workers, while Vermont is planning to pay back private child care centers for doing the same thing—and both plans include grocery clerks. "Thank you @GovTimWalz for supporting our industry during this challenging time!" tweeted the Minnesota Grocers Association.

Meanwhile, Salon reports that grocery chains are actively hiring in jobs that range from delivery drivers to warehouse workers to cashiers. Those chains include Ralph's, Safeway, Aldi, and Albertsons—and based on posts in a Facebook group for service industry members in Louisville, Kentucky, cashier jobs are starting at $13.50 an hour. But cashiers there say they have a problem beyond possible contact with the coronavirus: customers anxious about depleted stock. "A few people have gotten mad at us," says a Kroger employee. "But all we can do is shrug and apologize." (More coronavirus stories.)

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