by Ben Adlin
Thousands of frontline workers at large grocery stores in Seattle will soon see a $4-per-hour raise under emergency hazard-pay legislation passed Monday, Jan. 25, by the City Council. Labor leaders hope the new rule will inspire similar action around Puget Sound, including neighboring Burien and unincorporated King County.
The increase requires Seattle grocery businesses with 500 or more total employees to raise workers’ hourly wages by $4 in recognition of the higher risk of contracting COVID-19 involved in their work. The measure does not apply to small businesses, convenience stores, or farmers markets.
The City Council approved the bill on an 8–0 vote, allowing it to take effect as soon as the mayor signs it. That’s expected to happen next Wednesday, Feb. 3, Durkan’s staff told the Emerald in an email.
Continue reading Seattle ‘Hazard Pay’ Bonus for Grocery Workers Likely to Begin Next Week
by Carolyn Bick
The last time Michelle Timson visited the Othello Safeway was when the novel coronavirus pandemic first broke out.
“I won’t go to the Othello Safeway. It’s way too crowded. There’s no social distancing at all being enforced from what I have seen from the one time that I went,” Timson said.
But the lack of social distancing was just the rotting cherry on top of a fermenting sundae for Timson. Like many of her fellow Othellians, the South Seattle resident had had enough of the store, which many in the neighborhood have complained about for years, citing everything from rotting produce, expired packaged food and rat sightings to an overworked, understaffed employee base and an unsafe parking lot. Because of this, Timson and more than 1,500 others have signed a petition started by local activist and 37th District legislative candidate Chukundi Salisbury calling for better store conditions.
Continue reading Rats, Moldy Food, and a Dearth of Staff: Community Demands Better Conditions, Options at Othello Safeway