By Danielle Chavira

(CBS4) – The UFCW Local 7, a workers’ union more than 17,000 grocery workers in Colorado and Wyoming, wants more safety measures in place as the holidays near. The group also wants a $2/hour hazard pay to be reinstated.

The union president, Kim Cordova, says the number of cases at Kroger and Safeway/Albertsons locations has increased by 529% since May 17. That’s when the grocers ended hazard pay.

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(credit: CBS)

“This holiday season, Local 7 encourages grocery employers and customers to spread thanks to essential workers, not COVID,” Cordova said in a news release. “Even when our communities are shut down, Local 7’s grocery members continue to work and put themselves and their families at risk to keep stores running.”

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Cordova went on to list the safety measures the union wants the companies to meet.

“We ask these two companies to thank their essential employees by reinstating Hazard Pay and increasing the frequency of critical cleaning and safety procedures to protect workers and customers, such as limiting the number of shoppers in stores simultaneously, mandatory cart and basket cleaning, mandatory masks, more frequent bathroom, breakroom and cash register cleanings, more prominent signage for customers on safety rules, and having management ask unmasked customers to put on a mask.”

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The union also wants shoppers to share pictures of themselves wearing a mask in the grocery store using the hashtag #SpreadThanksNotCOVID” on social media.

Danielle Chavira