LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Unionized grocery workers rallied outside a Westlake-area Food 4 Less store today, saying more than two dozen employees at the store have tested positive for coronavirus and demanding more safety measures for workers and customers.
Officials with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 contend that 28 people, representing 30% of union members at the Sixth Street location,have tested positive for the virus. The county Department of Public Health website listed 23 confirmed cases at the store as of Monday night.
“I am doing everything I can to keep myself, my family and everyone around me safe, but the store is overcrowded and Kroger does not enforce basic public health measures,'' store worker Jeanne Coleman said in a statement.
Kroger is the parent company of Food 4 Less.
The workers called for improved safety measures, regular testing of workers and timely notifications of infections.
Vanessa Rosales, spokeswoman for Food 4 Less, could not be reached for immediate comment. But she told the Los Angeles Times this week that extensive protection measures have been implemented at stores, including cleanings every half-hour in high-contact areas, symptom and temperature checks for employees and limits on capacity in the stores.
John Grant, president of UFCW Local 770, reiterated that the coronavirus pandemic has had a particularly hard impact on front-line workers and minority communities.
“The pandemic has shone a bright light on hourly wage earners,'' he said. “They are Black and Brown, immigrants and people of color. Their work has always been essential and undervalued. The pandemic put their hard work front and center.''
Photo: Getty Images