MICHIGAN (CBS DETROIT) – A local store owner says protecting his employees during this pandemic is crucial, even if it means paying out of his own pocket — providing gloves and masks — to keep them safe.

Steve Sattam has owned Valuesave Foods Center on the city’s west side for over 18 years. He says many of his employees have been with him since the beginning.

“We give them the gloves and masks and every now and then they have to go and wash their hands and make sure with soap to be safe. I told them whatever you feel comfortable if you want to work that’s fine. If you can’t, feel free just let me know,” said Sattam.

He says also as an extra layer of protection he went to Home Depot, purchased plastic, and installed them at every checkout.

The store is sanitized every day at closing time. Taking these safety measures is a matter of life or death. Nationwide, several grocery store employees have died from Covid-19, including four at different Kroger locations in metro Detroit, and at least one at Meijer.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union announced Monday a new safety intuitive for grocery workers and recommends shoppers stay home if sick.

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