Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


How Many Grocery Store Workers Have Died From Coronavirus?

Olga Jiminez stands behind a protective plastic screen and wears a mask and gloves as she works as a cashier at the Presidente Supermarket on April 13, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

At least 68 grocery store workers nationwide have died from COVID-19, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents 20,000 grocery store employees in Los Angeles County.

The union also says more than 10,000 of its members have been exposed to COVID-19 or sickened by the virus in the last five weeks.

Union President Marc Perrone is calling on grocers to reinstate a $2 per hour pay bump they recently rolled back:

"These companies, by eliminating this hazard pay, ignores what the American people know -- that this virus is still very much a threat, and especially for those workers who must interact with thousands of customers everyday."

"Where was I on Easter? I was here," says Raquel Solorio, who works at a Ralphs store. "Where was I on Mother's Day? I was here. I am here every single day, six days a week, for the last eight weeks. I don't know why they would be taking our hazard pay away."
Support for LAist comes from
A sign reads "If You Don't Wear a Mask Please Do Not Come Inside" at a convenience store amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 8, 2020 in Los Angeles. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Following weekend protests against Kroger, the parent company of Ralphs and several other grocery chains, the company announced a "thank you" bonus for full and part-time workers.

A similar bonus was paid out at the beginning of the panedmic, in addition to the hourly increase.

The union is also calling on all food retailers to release the number of workers who have been killed or sickened by COVID-19.

Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter. To support our nonprofit public service journalism: Donate now.