Tops employees protest lack of hero pay

BUFFALO (WBEN) - On Thursday afternoon, about 200 Tops employees and UFCW members gathered outside the Elmwood location to protest the company dropping hero pay for workers.

Union President Frank Deriso says they have two main issues that they want resolved.

  • Want employees' hero pay reinstated
  • Want a refuse service order for customers who don't wear masks

"They're essential workers and they're certainly deserving of additional pay, and the company just unilaterally decided to stop paying it," said Deriso. "We want everybody to know that this company should be doing what a lot of other companies are doing around the country, and it's very simple - no mask, no service."

Deriso says Tops' current policy on masks doesn't have enough teeth, and the union's position is that anybody who isn't wearing a mask needs to be stopped at the door.

"If you're working in the store, you don't want to have customers coming around you without masks on, and I think 99% of the customers who are wearing the masks don't want to be shopping in a store where people don't have a mask on," Deriso said.

Listen to Deriso's full comments below: