The CDC's new mask guidance is confusing for frontline retail workers and turns them into the 'vaccination police,' a leading union says
- A leading union criticized the new
CDCmask guidance amid rising COVID-19 cases in frontline workers.
UFCWcalled the rules allowing vaccinated people indoors without masks "confusing."
- The rules could turn grocery and
retailworkers into the "vaccination police," it said.
The largest private-sector union in the country has slammed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new mask guidance for vaccinated people, saying that the rules are "confusing" and could make frontline retail and grocery workers the "vaccination police."
The CDC announced much looser mask guidelines for fully vaccinated Americans Thursday, allowing them to drop their masks indoors and stop social distancing.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW) said that the new guidance could put its 1.3 million members in danger. Frontline workers already face unvaccinated people who refuse to wear masks, the union said.
The trade association for the retail industry also said that the guidance puts retailers and their staff in "incredibly difficult situations," because the national policy can still be overruled by local and state mask mandates.
"While we all share the desire to return to a mask-free normal, today's CDC guidance is confusing and fails to consider how it will impact
This comes as more and more frontline workers are reporting being harassed by customers over their attempts to enforce COVID-19 protocols, including mask mandates.
"Essential workers are still forced to play mask police for shoppers who are unvaccinated and refuse to follow local COVID safety measures," Perrone said. "Are they now supposed to become the vaccination police?"
UFCW said that there had been an almost 35% increase in grocery worker deaths since March 1, alongside a nearly 30% jump in grocery workers infected with or exposed to COVID-19 following supermarket outbreaks.
The union estimated that, since the start of the pandemic, around 462 of its members who were frontline workers had died from COVID-19, including 184 grocery workers and 132 meatpacking workers.
A Harvard University study at a grocery store in Massachusetts last year found that around 20% of staff tested positive for COVID-19, and that employees with direct customer exposure were five times more likely to test positive.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), meanwhile, said that retailers were reviewing whether to change their current safety protocols in light of the new guidance, but that there was confusion between local and national rules.
"Today's CDC announcement on masks creates ambiguity for retailers because it fails to fully align with state and local orders," said Lisa LaBruno, RILA's senior executive vice-president of retail operations and innovation.
"These conflicting positions [between national, state, and local guidance] put retailers and their employees in incredibly difficult situations," she said.
The trade association represents more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers across the US, including Gap, Lowe's, and Walmart. Some retailers, including Target and Kroger, have already said that their staff and customers will still have to wear masks.
She added that customers should still follow any state and local mask mandates, and that those who don't want to wear a mask should shop online or use curbside pickup instead.
- I just got laid off from my dream job at Tesla without warning. I feel like my life got uprooted so a billionaire could save some money.
- Four-days work week, full and final settlement within 2 days of exit — new changes at workplaces to reflect from July 1
- Mark Zuckerberg told Meta staff he's upping performance goals to get rid of employees who 'shouldn't be here,' report says
- Antonia Wade, PwC's global CMO, tells Insider how B2B spending changes in tough economic times
- Ban on single-use plastic kicks in across India as the country recognises the choking impacts of plastic waste on the environment
- Bank FDs will draw down from mutual funds if interest rates go up to 7.5-8%, says report
- Best smartphones under ₹40,000 in India
- Are we worse off than we were in 2008? Foreign investors seem to think so