Minnesota grocery workers union calls for return of hazard pay as delta variant spreads

A grocery store employee wipes a checkout counter in between shoppers. (FOX 9)

A union representing Minnesota grocery store workers is calling for hazard pay to be reinstated as mask requirements resume and the delta variant spreads throughout the state.

Earlier this week, Cub reissued its mask requirement for all staff inside its stores in response to recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Target announced a similar mask rule for stores in areas with high COVID-19 infection rates.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663 sent letters to union grocery store employers, including Cub, Lunds and Byerlys and Kowlaski's Markets, asking for the return of a $2 per hour hazard pay bonus.

"Now we are hearing about members who are testing positive with the Delta variant," wrote UFCW Local 663 President Matt Utecht. "Throughout it all, UFCW Local 663 members continue to make sure customers' needs are met."

Union leaders are also asking employers to support additional payouts from the $250 million Frontline Worker Pay Working Group created from the federal funds for COVID-19 assistance allocated to the state.