LOCAL NEWS

Seattle council leaves grocery store hazard pay in place indefinitely

Sep 13, 2021, 4:28 PM | Updated: Sep 14, 2021, 6:15 am
hazard pay...
Cashier-less convenience store "Amazon Go" in Seattle, Washington, on Feb. 24, 2020. (Photographer: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
(Photographer: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Seattle City Council has opted to maintain its $4-an-hour grocery store worker hazard pay indefinitely.

During a Monday council session, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda clarified that the decision to delay voting to lift the hazard pay requirement is necessary because of the ongoing COVID emergency. She stressed that the hazard pay, passed in January of this year, is still temporary.

Seattle City Council delays lifting hazard pay for grocery employees

“We have continued to move to delay the amendment to this requirement because we wanted to make sure that we were looking at the most recent public health data, and we wanted to make sure that we did this in front of the full council to ensure that there was a transparent process to address the continued COVID emergency,” Mosqueda said. “I am still very much committed to ensuring that this is a temporary hazard pay meant to increase compensation for the extra risk that grocery workers take on a daily basis.”

“This bill was narrow,” Mosqueda continued. “This bill was not what overall worker pay was about. Today’s motion to delay the vote indefinitely moves this amendment into a longer period so that we have more time to ensure that we are considering the most recent public health information when we are looking at how we can address the stability of our hospital systems and risk exposure. We will take it up again once we continue to look at public health data and have more stability in the region as it relates to COVID.”

Councilmember Alex Pedersen further clarified that, although the vote to lift the requirement is delayed indefinitely, it would be brought back “eventually.”

“Those grocers who may be concerned about the hazard pay should know that just because the motion is to hold it indefinitely does not mean it won’t come back,” Pedersen said. “It’s just not practical to have it come back every few weeks when we’re in the midst of the delta variant. I’m hearing the concerns of grocers, and I also support what the workers are going through. This will be brought back eventually.”

Councilmember Kshama Sawant made it clear that, from her perspective, there are clear, ideological battle-lines surrounding the decision to delay the vote. She criticized Councilmember Pedersen for his mention of employers in the discussion of the hazard pay.

“I do not agree with Councilmember Pedersen presenting the false arguments of the grocery corporations as equivalent to the problems faced by the grocery workers and the sacrifices they have made, especially during the pandemic,” Sawant said. “I believe that whatever workers have been able to win, in this case hazard pay, should be maintained. As somebody who is an elected representative of workers, I would not be in a position to vote for removing that hazard pay at any time, whether its now or many years from now.”

Local News

weather...
Stephanie Klein

Puget Sound region could see unstable weather as cold air moves in

After a beautiful fall Saturday, the Puget Sound is due for a bout of unstable weather conditions.
15 hours ago
dees moines...
KIRO 7 News Staff

3 killed, 3 injured in shooting outside Des Moines sports bar

Three people were killed and three more were injured early Sunday in a shooting outside a Des Moines sports bar, police said.
15 hours ago
tacoma homicide...
Deborah Horne, KIRO 7 News

Third homicide in a week in Tacoma; homicides still below 2020

Neighbors are tense after a shooting early Saturday left a man dead at a homeless encampment on East 38th Street in Tacoma.
15 hours ago
Washington State University...
Associated Press

One killed, another injured in shooting near WSU campus

Police say a man has been arrested in connection with a shooting that killed one person and injured another near the Washington State University campus early Saturday morning.
2 days ago
homeless camp...
Andrew Scheinthal, KIRO 7 News

Seattle business attempts to clear homeless camp, backtracks after advocates step in

A Seattle business is facing heat from homeless advocacy groups after they attempted to clear out an encampment off of Lake City Way.
2 days ago
COVID, hospitals...
Nick Bowman

‘Tough few weeks ahead’ as state’s hospitals continue to struggle with flood of COVID patients

While Washington's COVID crisis has begun to stabilize in recent weeks, health officials warn that the state's hospitals are not quite out of the woods yet. 
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
...
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Seattle council leaves grocery store hazard pay in place indefinitely