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PetPeople needs hazard pay now!
PetPeople is a small, family owned company. With family values in mind, they need to recognize employee safety and wellness as their number one priority.
As the company has raked in millions of dollars over the last eight days of this pandemic, employee safety and well being is not something that has taken priority above dollar signs.
Our staff is terrified for their own well being. We aren't practicing safe measures and limiting the amount of shoppers in our store at any given time. The 6 foot distance rule is not being maintained. We don't have proper supplies to clean and sanitize both ourselves and our stores due to a global supply outage.
We just had a company wide conference call in which the higher up's told us we will not close stores (as we are a pet grocery store). We will stay in business and even though we made up ground in sales the last eight days, we haven't nearly made up for the big losses we faced in 2019. This statement right here shows how the company feels about its employees.
Several stores are facing staffing issues (since we are only allowed to have a minimal staff of 7-8 team members). Morale is incredibly low. We are facing many call-off's daily due to a fear of safety. And management teams are having to pick up extra hours to support. We are all tired. Frustrated. And not feeling supported by our company.
Why is this important?
We are exposing ourselves (and our loved ones) to COVID-19. We aren’t being paid for the extra work we’re doing or the risk we’re undertaking. We are terrified.
We need our company to have our back by introducing hazard pay at the rate of time and a half, plus guaranteeing forced closure pay. Workers who are typically scheduled a certain number of hours per week need to be guaranteed that if their store closes, they will continue receiving pay equal to their average scheduled wages. For example, someone scheduled full time would receive a biweekly check totalling how much they would earn for 70 hours of work — that is two weeks of 40-hours, minus ten 1-hour lunch breaks through those two weeks.
Why is this important?
According to the UN, hazard pay is “a form of compensation granted to staff members who have been requested to remain and report for work in duty stations where very hazardous conditions, such as war or active hostilities, prevailed and where the evacuation of families and nonessential staff had taken place.”
We are in the middle of a global crisis. PetPeople — and any necessity supply stores at large — are ensuring our communities can safely and comfortably quarantine/self-isolate. But the workers stocking the shelves have not received any sort of security from PetPeople, that we can be compensated for the essential service we are providing.
PetPeople is telling us to stay home if we have a fever. That is insufficient — it requires workers to work until they get sick before they can receive any compensation for putting their lives in danger, and it does nothing to answer concerns of part-time or new team members who don’t qualify for medical insurance should they become ill.
Retail grocery/necessity stores and hospitals are on the frontlines right now, but retail workers don’t have access to the same precautions and resources as hospital workers. Hazard pay and guaranteed closure pay provides security, comfort, and increased morale knowing our company has our backs.