March 20, 2020 | From Daily Mail
(Editor’s note: Although this story comes from Australia, the same is true here in America. We can pray specifically for the situation in California to improve, because that dramatically impacts how shelves are stocked across the U.S. For example, many of Costco’s Kirkland products are trucked out of California and the supply chain has been disrupted.)
Supermarket workers have been hailed as the ‘unsung heroes’ of the coronavirus outbreak after working day and night to keep shelves st0cked to help millions of Australians through the crisis.
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Families have been queuing for hours outside stores across the nation to get their hands on everyday essentials, fearing they could soon be infected or quarantined as the virus spreads.
Stories of everyday heroes are popping up across the country, as selfless staff work overtime to help deliver groceries.
Coles and Woolworths announced they were opening an hour earlier this week to allow elderly or vulnerable Australians special access to products so they don’t have to battle the crowds.
Photographs from inside a Coles in Southland, Melbourne, show staff tirelessly working to restock shelves to prepare for ‘elderly hour’.
Hundreds of customers queued to ensure they got special access and once inside the store shoppers looked happy and relaxed as they filled their trolleys.
Supermarket workers have been compared to firefighters during the bushfire crisis as they deal with hundreds of people a day, not knowing if they are infected with coronavirus.
One Woolworths employee, an international student, told Daily Mail Australia that he was now working 40 hours a week, up from 20, to cope with demand.
‘We are going against our families wishes by working during the coronavirus crisis. It’s a similar situation to the firefighters risking their lives during the bushfires in January.’
Some employees have had to deal with being attacked and verbally abused by out of control customers desperate to stock up on food.
Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary of the SDA, the union for retail, fast-food and warehouse workers, told Daily Mail Australia supermarket workers have been ‘stoic’ in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Unfortunately stories of workers, particularly supermarket workers, being abused and harassed while they’re simply trying to do their job have been all too common lately. Abuse of our frontline workers is too common all year round, but the last few weeks have been particularly bad,’ he said.
‘Our supermarket workers in particular are certainly proving to be some of the unsung heroes of the current coronavirus pandemic.
‘To get up and go into work day after day, knowing that what you are about to be faced with could be very ugly and difficult, is no mean feat. We should never underestimate the strength of character and the sense of community service our retail workforce has.’
(Excerpt from The Daily Mail. Article by Claudia Poposki.)