The president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) says grocery stores should be kicking out shoppers who refuse to put on a mask.

Marc Perrone spoke with CBS MoneyWatch about how the virus is affecting food and other essential workers.

“I don’t think that our workers ought to be the mask police,” Perrone said. “The management in the store, quite honestly, they’re the ones that control the keys, they’re the ones that should say something to the consumer. And if they have a customer that’s being unruly, they always have the ability to call the police and ask the police to show up.”

Last week UFCW rolled out a national campaign to restore hazard pay for front-line grocery workers. The effort will urge top supermarket operators such as Whole Foods Market, Walmart Inc., The Kroger Co., Albertsons Cos. and Ahold Delhaize USA to reinstate hazard pay amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“America’s grocery workers are putting their lives on the line every day that they walk into the store, because this pandemic is far from over and the health threats are just as real now as they were when this crisis began,”  Perrone said. “It is outrageous that the CEOs of these companies refuse to restore hazard pay even as more of these workers are getting sick and dying every week. Hazard pay for grocery workers must be reinstated now.”

Last week, according to the union, there were at least 103 grocery worker deaths from the coronavirus, and more than 14,300 employees infected by or exposed to COVID-19.

UFCW’s push to restore hazard pay has won support from Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, the Democratic party’s vice presidential nominee, as well as Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, among others.

UFCW represents 1.3 million workers in the health care, grocery, meatpacking, food-processing, retail and other industries.

Source: Progressive Grocer