(Seattle, WA) --Seattle's Mayor is using her veto power to keep pandemic-related hazard pay in place for grocery employees. City Council voted eight to nothing last week to repeal the four dollars-per-hour hazard pay requirement that has been in place since January.

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who recently survived a recall effort, was absent from last weeks vote and praised Durkan's veto, calling City Council's move to repeal the hazard pay a "capitulation" by "self-described progressive Democrats in the interests of big business."

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the veto Wednesday, citing the rising number of cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant. According to a news release from the mayor’s office, COVID-19 cases have increased 143% over the past week alone.

Durkan will formally submit her veto on Monday, Dec. 27.

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