By Rick Sallinger

WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The refusal of Weld County Commissioners to seek enforcement of COVID Level Red guidelines is leading to push back from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7. Working at a grocery store can be considered on the front line, especially when you have contact with customers all day long. Do they feel safe?

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One King Soopers employee said, “For the most part yes, but I still feel there are things that could be done better.”

Now the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7 is blasting the Weld County Commissioners, calling their refusal to order Level Red guideline enforcement, “dangerous, irresponsible and shameful.” Especially since there are few hospital beds available.

“We just don’t feel we should play the heavy hand of government in trying to enforce something we don’t feel is enforceable,” said Weld County Commissioner Kevin Ross.

But the union insists their members are at risk.

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Kevin Schneider, the secretary-treasurer of UFCW Local 7 said his members are scared, “They are concerned every day about catching the virus or bringing it home to their families.”

Shoppers in Weld County realize the virus can have far greater consequences than just politics.

Juan Alvarez told CBS4, “We basically want to make sure we stay healthy and not in the hospital, especially at holiday time.”

Greeley is home to the JBS meat plant. Another outbreak has now been recorded by the state at the site. Right across the street is a stark reminder of the first outbreak and those workers no longer alive, where helmets stand with photos of those who died.

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The plant closed earlier of this year while a number of protective measures were installed inside after the initial coronavirus outbreak before reopening.

Rick Sallinger