Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

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The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

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The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Push to Classify Grocery Workers as First Responders After IL Deaths

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Wednesday, April 8, 2020   

CHICAGO -- Major grocery chains are reporting their first coronavirus-related employee deaths, which include two at a Chicago-area Walmart. Although Walmart employees are not represented by a union, a union representative said these deaths could have been prevented if governors would declare grocery workers "first responders."

The "first responder" designation would ensure that, as front-line workers, they receive testing and other essential preventive measures, said Jonathan Williams, communications director for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400.

"We are prioritizing access to testing and achieving this 'first responder' status because this isn't like a hurricane or an earthquake, you know," he said. "We're experiencing a different kind of emergency right now. That means we need to recognize a different kind of first responder."

A wrongful-death lawsuit for the family of the Evergreen Park Walmart employee, Wando Evans, was filed this week. It alleges managers ignored Evans' COVID-19 symptoms and failed to notify other workers that their colleague may have contracted the virus.

Williams said he believes that if supermarket workers are putting their lives on the line, they should at the very least be making a living wage. He said his union also is pushing grocery chains to provide hazard pay to employees.

"We feel strongly that if anyone is on the front lines of this crisis and continuing to work," he said, "then they deserve to be compensated for the risk that they are putting themselves in, and their families."

He said his union also is demanding stores take more safety measures to protect employees. Starting this week, Kroger is limiting the number of customers to 50% of a store's capacity, and will check the temperature of every employee before work.


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