Kroger Wants Employees Designated as "First Responders"


CINCINNATI, Ohio (WTVN)--The Kroger Company is calling for state and federal lawmakers to designate store employees as "First Responders."

The company released a joint statement Monday with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which represents thousands of store employees.

One part of the statement says, "This urgent call for temporary first responder or emergency personnel status is not just about protecting grocery store workers, it is also about protecting the customers they serve and our nation's food supply in general."

Since the pandemic began, Kroger has limited store capacity to 50 percent nationwide, installed plexiglass partitions at checkout lanes, pharmacies and Starbucks registers, and have placed floor decals that promote six feet for social distancing at checkout and other counters.

Kroger is also still hiring for thousands of positions at their stores and distribution centers, even as hundreds of thousands of Ohioans filed for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks.