These employees face a difficult decision’: Seth Moulton presses Charlie Baker for more grocery store protections
Rep. Seth Moulton is calling for expanded statewide protections for grocery store workers during the coronavirus outbreak, following the death of a Market Basket employee in his home town.
“These employees face a difficult decision: leave their jobs to protect their own health and safety, or show up to work so that we all can eat,” Moulton wrote in a letter Wednesday to Gov. Charlie Baker.
The Salem Democrat urged Baker to temporarily grant emergency personnel status to food supply employees, which would give them priority access to in-demand coronavirus tests and protective gear, in the midst of “increased, but unavoidable, exposure to the public.”
“This designation would provide them access to priority testing, personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and gloves, as well other workplace protections necessary to keep them and the general public safe and healthy,” Moulton said.
The letter comes after Market Basket announced Tuesday that an employee at their Salem location died after contracting COVID-19. Vitalina Williams, a 59-year-old part-time cashier at Market Basket in Salem and a full-time employee at Walmart in Lynn, died last week after a weeklong battle with the disease, according to the Boston Herald.
Several local chains — including Market Basket, Shaw’s, Star Market, and Wegmans — have said since that they are providing employees with masks, in addition other social distancing and sanitation efforts.