Re: “Grocery industry sues Seattle over new $4 hazard-pay law” [Feb. 3, Business]:
The motivation for the $4 per hour hazard pay introduced by Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda and supported by her council bandwagon-mates is more punitive toward big-grocer profits than it is compensatory for grocery-worker risk.
A smarter approach would be to support the original United Food and Commercial Workers request to restore just the $2 hazard pay (per the UFCW’s sample letter of support on its website), and second, to actually mitigate the risk, support regular testing of grocery workers and, for those who test positive, support their home quarantine at full pay until they test negative. This would protect both their fellow workers and grocery shoppers.
Hazard pay of $4 will increase food costs for all of us, but it hurts the poor most of all. It also hurts Seattle’s own, smaller chains like Metropolitan Market and PCC Community Markets that are not comparable to the Krogers or Albertsons.
Jim Sullivan, Seattle