PBS News Hour: Some Cities Made ‘Hazard Pay’ for Essential Workers Mandatory

Labor News

Reprinted from The PBS News Hour by Hari Sreenivasan on February 13, 2021.

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation last March, many large food retailers increased their frontline workers’ pay by several dollars an hour. Dubbed ‘hero pay,’ the programs have since ended, despite the remaining dangers for workers. Some cities have passed measures to make hazard pay mandatory—but despite high pandemic profits, major grocery chains are pushing back. Molly Kinder of the Brookings Institution joins to discuss.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    For more on hazard pay for workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, I recently spoke with Molly Kinder from the Brookings Institution.

  • Molly Kinder:

    So grocery store workers are among the quintessential examples of essential workers who have been out on the COVID-19 frontline throughout the pandemic. They are at risk of contracting COVID and potentially passing it back to their family. And they earn very low wages typically. So grocery workers on average make about $11.50 an hour nationwide. …

PBS News Hour 2/13

About Jeffrey Burman 861 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.