(CBS4) – A union representing more than 21,000 grocery workers in Colorado and Wyoming says 49 King Soopers employees in Colorado tested positive for coronavirus. One Colorado employee has died, they say.

(credit: CBS)

Details about which stores the employees work or when they tested positive were not released.

The union is one of seven which are asking Kroger to not eliminate the $2/hour bonus called “Hero Pay.” The company is said to be getting rid of that bonus on May 17.

The unions also want the company to provide testing to all employees and improve store practices.

“Just because states start to reopen doesn’t mean the dangers from COVID are less severe. Instead, grocery workers’ jobs become more dangerous as customer traffic increases,” said Kim Cordova, president of UCGW Local 7.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced there are now 1,009 coronavirus-related deaths in the state, an increase of 22 from Monday. There are also 20,157 known positive cases.

There are currently 563 people in Colorado hospitals for COVID-19.

Kroger defended its decision in an emailed statement to CBS MoneyWatch.

“Our temporary Hero Bonus is scheduled to end in mid-May. In the coming months, we know that our associates’ needs will continue to evolve and change as our country recovers,” a spokesperson stated. “We are committed to the continued support of our associates’ safety and mental well-being, and we’ll continue our ongoing discussions on these critical aspects with the UFCW.”