MN Grocery Store Employees Deemed COVID-19 Emergency Workers

Free childcare isn't enough for many progressives, who have taken advantage of this moment to advocate a $15/hour wage.

Grocery store employees in Minnesota have been deemed emergency workers and are now entitled to free childcare while the state’s schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Sunday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-02, closing schools from Wednesday, March 18, through Friday, March 27. This order included a stipulation that the state is still responsible for providing childcare to children under the age of 12 whose parents are “emergency workers,” like medical staff and first responders.

Now, Walz has extended this state assistance to “food distribution workers,” deeming them “tier 2 emergency works [sic]” according to the Minnesota Grocers Association.

This state assistance comes alongside the relief many Minnesota employers are already providing for their staff. Prior to the governor’s new declaration, Target announced that “back-up [child] care will be available to all” its employees. It has also increased the availability of benefits for employees who are unable to make it to work.

RELATED: Target And Byerly’s Set Aside Time For Elderly To Shop Safely Amidst COVID-19

Vermont has also classified grocery store employees as emergency workers. Amidst this decision, some outspoken progressive as Mother Jones Editor-In-Chief Clara Jeffery have called for this type of action on the national level.

Other left leaning writers like Becky Dernbach have published articles claiming that “grocery clerks are often underpaid and underappreciated,” as online cries for a $15/hour wage approach viral status on Twitter.

Many seem to support pushing pay even higher, advocating a $25/hour wage for grocery store clerks.

Minnesota confirmed its first case of coronavirus less than two weeks ago. Since then, that number has risen from 1 to 89 as of Thursday, reports the Pioneer Press.