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Mosqueda Responds to Kroger’s Store Closure

Stands with Workers and 73% of Seattle Voters who support hazard pay for grocery workers

SEATTLE – Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide), Chair of the Finance and Housing Committee, issued the following statement on her hazard pay legislation, in response to Kroger’s announcement of their intentions to close two stores in two months:

“While many of us have been working at home for the last year, essential workers, like grocery store workers, are putting their lives, and the health and safety of their families, in hazard’s way everyday they go to work. As a City, protecting the health of our community is an essential function.  That’s why recently, 73% of Seattle voters supported hazard pay for grocery workers, with close to half of Seattle voters strongly supporting hazard pay.  That’s why the grocery workers hazard pay bill passed unanimously at Seattle City Council and was strongly supported by the Mayor. That’s why as a City are working to ensure those who need vaccines most, like front-line grocery workers, get their vaccines. And that’s why, as opposed to PCC and Trader Joe’s, who responded to worker demand and the new law by expanding Seattle’s hazard pay law to stores across the country, it’s beyond disappointing — it’s harmful to our public health and retaliatory — that Kroger decided to announce the closure of their stores (including one store that was already slated for redevelopment).”

“Grocery workers have had to cover emergency shifts, pick up extra responsibilities, and are five times more likely to contract COVID. These workers should not be pawns in a game of chess. Workers aren’t an unnamed, unknown entity. They are the folks who load your cars, check out your groceries, re-stock your shelves. They are our neighbors.  And their health is ours. I stand with cities up and down the west coast who have already passed similar hazard pay laws, stand by the unanimous passage of the law in Seattle, and with the three-fourths of Seattle residents who stand with our grocery store workers and their right to hazard pay. We’ll be working to make sure all essential workers get hazard pay and vaccines, and are central to our efforts to rebuild the economy more equitably and stronger for all Seattleites.”

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