96.8 F
Mérida
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
###

Supermarkets urged to send grocery baggers home, away from health risks

Volunteer program criticized for putting elderly at risk for coronavirus

Latest headlines

Scientists warn some types of sargassum could impact on human health

Large amounts of sargassum are now washing a shore in locations previously relatively untouched by the algae, such as the theme...

The sights, sounds, and flavors of vibrant Chinatown in CDMX

Mexico City’s Chinatown is crowded, frenzied, and chaotic — but in an oddly great sort of way.

Mérida, but not the Caribbean resorts, named in Airbnb survey

Mérida Yucatán is one of the oldest cities on the American continent and boasts the oldest cathedral on the continent’s mainland....

Yucatán goes from 0 to 78 daily COVID cases in 6 weeks

The Yucatán health ministry reported 78 new COVID infections, the highest number of daily new cases since March.
Yucatán Magazine
Yucatán Magazine has the inside scoop on living here. Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox every week.
A woman in Tijuana protects her face with a mask in a supermarket crowd. Photo: Omar Martínez via Getty Images

Soriana shoppers will bag their own groceries starting today, and other grocery chains in Mexico are under pressure to also send home tens of thousands of elderly checkouts baggers at risk of coronavirus.

Some 35,000 workers, most between 60 and 74 years old, work for tips packing groceries at Walmart and other chain stores through a government-backed volunteer program.

A petition on Change.org, demanding the senior workers in Mexico be allowed home with compensation, had gathered close to 69,000 signatures by Thursday.

People 65 and older account for eight out of every 10 deaths from coronavirus in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In China, where the virus first took hold, about 80% of deaths have been among people 60 and older, said the CDC citing Chinese data.

Ofelia Camarillo, 66, said she needs the money and plans to keep packing bags at a Superama, one of the chains owned by Walmart.

“I know it’s a risk, but if I’m going to stay at home, what would I do?” the Mexico City woman told the Reuters news agency, adding that the 450 pesos ($18) she can take home a day was her only income.

Walmart de Mexico said its decision to keep the bag packers in its stores was in line with recommendations from the government’s National Institute for Elderly People (INAPAM), which oversees the program.

“The activities of the elderly adults as baggers in our stores is voluntary; that’s to say, they’re not our employees,” a spokeswoman said.

Walmart also recommended surgical masks, said Guillermo Valdez, 65, who packs groceries at a Superama in upscale Polanco, but said none were available early this week.

Guillermo Valdez, 65, who bags groceries and helps collect shopping carts at a Superama in upscale Polanco, said he had few worries despite a lack of surgical masks recommended by his employer.

“I’m not scared of death. When it comes, it comes,” he said.

A Soriana spokeswoman said that beginning on Friday, the company would no longer use the elderly volunteers in consideration of their health, and instead ask shoppers to pack their own bags and leave donations for the volunteers, which the company would then match.

In line with the government’s reluctance to issue pre-emptive measures to contain coronavirus that might damage the economy, INAPAM’s director of state programs Ricardo Gallardo said workers should not be pulled from stores because they depend on tips as income.

INAPAM would not offer compensation if workers opted to stay home, he said.

Source: Reuters

- Advertisement -

Subscribe Now!

More articles

New augmented reality app tells the story of Mérida’s iconic corner plaques

Mérida´s municipal government is launching a new mobile phone application to tell the story of the city’s iconic Centro corner plaques.

Tortas in the Park: Family carries on the tradition for 63 years 

Taqueria Don Beto in Parque Las Américas. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht Strolling through charming Parque de...

Kankí, the Maya city where the stone eyes of ancient gods burn as hot as the sun

Kankí may be only 10 miles or so from the Mérida-Campeche highway, but feels a world away.

La Plancha park project moves forward with a huge budget

Government officials announced an agreement to make the La Plancha land 100% parkland. Photo: Contributed The park that...

Court sets limits for ‘racist’ immigration checkpoints in Mexico

Mexican soldiers review documents at a Zacatecas checkpoint in March. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP via Getty Images

You won’t miss the meat or dairy in these recipes from Yucatán

Vegan, vegetarian and plant-based lifestyles are easy to enjoy, despite living in meat-centric Yucatán.  Now that we’ve listed our...

Yucatán COVID patient 1st to die in 49 days

Coronavirus cases rose steadily in a week that ended with Yucatán's first COVID fatality since April 2. A...

Expats in Mexico face impossible deadline to comply with new tax law

Taxpayers in Mérida wait for their numbers to be called at the SAT office. Photo: File A tax...

What is the Loop Current and how does it affect hurricanes on the Yucatán Peninsula?

A current of warm tropical water is looping unusually far into the Gulf of Mexico for this time of year, with the power to turn tropical storms into monster hurricanes.

Izamal revamps its infrastructure while seeking investment

A walking tour of Izamal includes Mayor Warnel May Escobar and Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal. Photo: Courtesy