As essential grocery workers are spending their time ringing customers up, restocking the shelves and working through this pandemic, many of them have been receiving additional pay – sometimes called “hero pay” – to compensate for the health risks they have had to take on the job over the past weeks.
Most essential grocery store workers were receiving this bump in their hourly wages in the early weeks of the stay-at-home orders, but many retailers have been reducing this pay increase even though the workers are still expected to show up to work.
Large corporate businesses decided to revoke the hero pay from the workers as Los Angeles County begins to softly open up more businesses. In an effort to continue to be paid this amount of money, many grocery workers protested for this removal of pay.
The protests were successful in being heard by businesses like Kroger, because although they will not receive hero pay there has been an added bonus to the employees. Regardless of whether the workers are being paid hero pay or not, it still does not amount to a livable wage.
Nothing has changed about the conditions that the world is in, for those workers to get their hero pay taken away. In fact this pay should be given to these workers on a regular basis. Those that are receiving unemployment are making more than these heroes that sacrifice their health for the well-being of their community.
The pandemic has shifted the way society prioritizes everything and has brought significant attention is the unlivable wages these workers make and the importance of their service. These people have remained fighting during this pandemic but have yet to receive the acknowledgement that they deserve. Taking away hero pay is one way that shows they are not appreciated as much as they should.
These workers have to support their families but it is impossible to do this with the pay that they are receiving. This pandemic has only proven that these people are heroes everyday, not just through this difficult time, they deserve to be paid as such.