By Nathaniel Meyersohn
Source: CNN Business

Sam Dancy has witnessed it all during his 30 years at supermarket chain QFC in Seattle. But the Omicron variant is pushing him to the brink.

Dancy is a front-end supervisor overseeing the store’s cash registers, self-checkout kiosks, customer service and liquor departments. In late December he worked 11 straight days because of staffing shortages caused by the spread of the highly-contagious Covid-19 variant.

Now the rapid spread of Omicron is putting new pressure on essential workers already worn down after nearly two years working through a deadly pandemic. But, unlike millions of office workers, they can’t stay home and make a living.

Staffing at the store where Dancy works is at its worst level since the pandemic, lower even than during the first wave in March 2020, said the 62-year-old shop steward for the local United Food and Commercial Workers union. Employees have quit in recent months and management has not replaced them, he added. The store has had to close early on some days because of staffing constraints.

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