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Grocery Workers Are Key During The Virus. And They’re Afraid

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FILE - In this March 26, 2020, file photo, Garrett Ward sprays disinfectant on a conveyor belt between checking out shoppers behind a plexiglass panel at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Overland Park, Kan. From South Africa to Italy to the U.S., grocery workers — many in low-wage jobs — are manning the front lines amid worldwide lockdowns, their work deemed essential to keep food and critical goods flowing. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

(AP) — Grocery workers across the globe are working the frontlines during lockdowns meant to keep the coronavirus from spreading. Their stores are deemed essential, and their work puts them close to the public and therefore at risk. Often in low-wage jobs, the workers have earned praise from Pope Francis and former U.S. President Barack Obama. But with infection and death rates climbing, workers are demanding better pay, protections and access to testing. Some major chains like Kroger and Walmart are providing bonuses and protective gear. But that doesn’t always alleviate workers’ fears, especially when customers don’t practice social distancing.

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