Seniors have returned to supermarkets in Mexico City to bag groceries for customers’ tips after a year and a half off work due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chedraui is one store that has brought back their grocery baggers while Mexico City remains yellow on the coronavirus stoplight risk map, but other supermarkets are waiting for the capital to go green.
All of the “cerillitos,” as the baggers are affectionately known, need to be vaccinated and wear a face mask in order to return, according to the newspaper Milenio.
One grocery bagger said that returning to work would provide health benefits. “My family is happy that I’ve come back to work. They said it will help not to be sitting all day, and that it will improve my circulation,” he said.
He also attested to the health measures enforced by the store. “I already have my two vaccinations. In fact, the company spoke to me and asked me if I was inoculated, so we returned with all the sanitary measures,” he said.
Another grocery bagger, Don Rafael, 65, was happy to get back to work on Tuesday to supplement his pension.
“I’ve returned with a lot of energy. I was hoping to get out of the house and have more income, because the pension that the government gives me isn’t enough to pay rent, food and household expenses. Now more than ever I won’t pass up this opportunity,” he said.
Don Rafael’s streak continued when a customer handed him a scratch card as a tip, revealing a 100 peso prize. “I’m very lucky, now I can be calmer now that I will take more money home,” he said.
However, one senior, Don Lució Salazar, said he felt nostalgic for colleagues that would not be returning to work after falling victim to the pandemic. “I’m happy to be here, but I no longer see many friends. Don Otto from the morning shift who passed away, or Doña Luisa who will also be greatly missed here,” he said.
Walmart, Bodega Aurrera and Soriana are waiting for Mexico City to go green on the coronavirus risk map before inviting grocery baggers back.
Source: Milenio (sp)