WINNIPEG -- The union representing grocery store workers is telling customers they need to stop “bullying” employees.

“Workers are getting scared and concerned with the attitudes of some customers,” said Jeff Traeger, president of UFCW Local 832, in a news release.

“The public needs to do their part to help our members on the frontlines get home safely.”

The union noted that many people are taking the pandemic seriously, other people are demanding and bullying. It said it heard of one instance of a customer being racist towards an employee.

“We are all in this together,” said Traeger. “Bullying and intolerance are never ok, and right now, more than ever, we need to pull together as a community, be kind and support each other.”

The union suggests five ways that customers can help out:

  1. One customer per cart to make it easier to physically distance, and to cut down on wait since stores are limiting the number of people allowed in;
  2. Shop for friends, family, and neighbours to keep down the number of people in stores;
  3. Don’t hang around grocery stores and plan ahead to know what you need;
  4. Follow physical distancing rules; and
  5. Be kind.

UFCW Local 832 represents more than 18,000 people working in food production, food distribution warehousing, grocery retail, hospitality, security, personal care, and assisted living.