Communications & Public Affairs
April 15, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
Democratic Caucus Letter Urges Governor to Protect Grocery Store Workers
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus sent a letter to Gov. Kevin Stitt today urging him to temporarily declare grocery store, food retail, and food processing workers as emergency personnel in response to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.
A temporary designation would provide needed relief for the many Oklahomans working to protect Oklahoma’s access to groceries.
“This simple designation is about protecting hard-working Oklahomans,” said Rep. Collin Walke (D-OKC). “Oklahomans, who in this situation, have risked their health to provide groceries to their community.”
The temporary first responder or emergency personnel designation would bring funding for the following: two weeks paid leave, childcare, medical testing for the Coronavirus should it be needed, treatment for Coronavirus should it be needed, and greater access to personal protective equipment (PPE).
“The governor has spoken several times about how Oklahoma’s supply chain is in good shape,” said Rep. Cyndi Munson (D-OKC). “He is able to say that because of the hard work of the dedicated men and women—like my dad who is a grocery worker—working around the clock in our community grocery stores. We sent this letter because it’s time to do our job as lawmakers and protect them.”
Providing this designation would benefit all Oklahomans.
“Our food supply chain is only as strong as the workers that keep it going,” said House Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman). “Our hope is that Governor Stitt won’t view this action as opposition but instead an idea to protect Oklahoma’s most vital assets – its people. ”