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Supermarket staff should be priority for virus vaccine

The Michigan Retailers Association has applauded state legislators for declaring today to be Supermarket Employee Day in recognition of the critical role Michigan grocery workers have played throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“From day one, Michigan supermarket employees have worked exceptionally hard during unprecedented times to keep store shelves stocked and environments safe for customers to shop throughout the pandemic,” said William Hallan, president of Michigan Retailers Association. “We are indebted to these unsung heroes and appreciate lawmakers for recognizing the critical role these workers play in keeping our communities fed and in minimizing the spread of COVID-19.”

The Michigan Senate adopted Senate Resolution 18, sponsored by Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Kevin Daley (R-Lum) and the Michigan House adopted House Resolution 36, sponsored by House Agriculture Committee Vice-Chair Bryan Posthumus (R-Cannon Township) on Thursday.

“Grocery employees provide us with access to safe, healthy and affordable food,” Daley said. “They have faced unprecedented challenges keeping grocery shelves stocked during the COVID-19 crisis. These frontline workers have put their communities first throughout this pandemic and we owe them our sincere gratitude.”

“Employees at grocery stores across the state continue to meet and exceed the challenges of COVID-19 while displaying courage, compassion, dedication and leadership,” Posthumus said. “I ask all Michiganders to join me in honoring our frontline, grocery employees.”

According to a study conducted by the Food Industry Association, Michigan has approximately 140,941 food retail jobs that generate $11.6 billion in economic activity for the state.

“The sheer focus and determination of grocery workers helped to ensure that contracting the virus in a supermarket setting remains very low,” Hallan said. “One way we can recognize and appreciate our essential grocery and retail workers is to follow the lead of Oakland County and the City of Detroit and make these workers eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine now. We encourage the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to prioritize vaccinating retail workers across the state to ensure their continued safety and health.”

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