Your rights in the crisis

We are monitoring the situation closely. For the latest updates, please follow us on Facebook.

Make sure we have your current contact information so we can reach you if needed.

COVID-19 compensation from employers (hazard pay)

Your Union Leadership continues to work closely with employers to ensure that all members working in the COVID-19 pandemic are adequately protected and compensated for their service to the community in this crisis.

The employers below have agreed to compensate their employees. This is a great starting point, but of course we will continue to fight together for more. ✊


Albertsons and Safeway:

  • $2 an hour for all employees

 

 


Sherms:

  • $2 an hour for all employees

 

 


Nap’s Thriftway:

  • $2 an hour during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • $1 an hour for courtesy clerks

 


Franz:

  • $2 an hour pay increase for all employees (excluding commissioned sales employees)

 


Fred Meyer:

  • $300 bonus for full-time employees (over 30 hours/week)
  • $150 bonus for part-time employees (under 30 hours/week)
  • Hours calculated over 8-week period
  • For all employed as of March 8
  • Taxed at an income rate instead of bonus rate.
  • To be paid out April 3rd.

 

 

 

 


Today, UFCW Local 555 joined with nearly every UFCW Local Union from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains to demand Kroger:

  • adopt industry standard hourly increases instead of paying unfair bonuses,
  • expand qualifications and circumstances for additional paid leave,
  • implement member-focused safety protocols and provide personal protective equipment,
  • take additional steps to safeguard social distancing between employees and customers,
  • commit to transparency and disclosure for cases of exposure

We hear you and now Kroger has heard you too. It’s time for action.

In this fight, the Grocery Line is the Front Line

UPDATE for Fred Meyer employees:

March 22, 2020

Good news! Union leadership is continuing to make progress on securing the compensation and protections for members at all of our grocery stores and in healthcare.

– We confirmed the hazard bonus will be taxed at income rate not bonus rate.
– Fred Meyer is lowering the threshold for the full time $300 bonus from 36 hours to 30 hours averaged per week.
– They are adjusting the lookback period from 12 weeks to 8 weeks.
– The minimum start date for workers to qualify has shifted from March 2 to March 8.
– Fred Meyer is adding signage and floor markers to help social distancing.
– Fred Meyer will not ask employees to remove masks or gloves.

Hazard pay

March 20, 2020

Your Union Leadership is in constant contact with employers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Safeway & Albertsons recognizes the severity and urgency of the situation; effective today all members at these stores will receive Hazard Pay at the rate of $2 an hour.
Other employers must follow Safeway & Albertsons’ example immediately.
Hazard pay for grocery workers now!

Temporary OFLA Amendments for COVID-19

March 18, 2020

From the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI):

Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has issued a temporary order expanding the reach of the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) in response to COVID-19. Effective March 18, 2020 through September 13, 2020, eligible employees can utilize OFLA for emergency care for their child whose school or place of care has been closed in conjunction with a public statewide health emergency, which COVID-19 qualifies as.

As a reminder, employers with 25 or more employees in Oregon are covered under OFLA. Oregon employees are eligible for OFLA if they work 180 days for the employer and average 25 hours per week. If an employee is diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or the employee needs to provide care for a family member diagnosed with COVID-19, it may still qualify OFLA as a serious health condition for themselves or their family member. If so, employers should follow the normal family medical leave process.

A message from Dan and Jeff

March 18, 2020

Since COVID hit Oregon and Washington, UFCW 555 has been working to expand access to paid leave for members, increase paid leave banks from employers, and maintain healthcare benefits for those who cannot work because they are immunocompromised or care for others who are immunocompromised.

More importantly, we have been working in both Oregon, Washington and also Federally to get First Responder protections for Grocery Workers who are facing COVID-19 just like traditional first responders such as police and firefighters. First Responder protections would prioritize Grocery Workers for things like COVID-19 testing, protective gear, and other needed financial assistance. Jeff Anderson is on Governor Kate Brown’s Coronavirus Task Force and has been tirelessly working to get you state protections as you continue to work during this pandemic. We are also advocating for common sense protective measures such as banning reusable bags, regular workspace disinfecting, and suspending paper bag fees.

As you have seen, UFCW Local 555 Representatives are out in stores helping to deal with a myriad of issues that COVID-19 has presented. Like you, your union is still working and like you, we have never been busier. A shelter in place order from the Governors of Oregon and Washington in the coming weeks isn’t unimaginable and we have made clear the importance of us being available to address the workplace issues you are facing. We will also be reaching out to you via text message with new information as it becomes available. You can also find this information at ufcw555.org/covid19.

In times of crisis, an adequate and available food supply is one of the keys to avoid societal chaos. We have never been more proud of our UFCW Membership for standing strong in the Northwest’s time of need and of my Union Representatives who have stood with you.

We are in this together and we will get through it, together.

Dan & Jeff

UFCW Local 555 - Frequently Asked Questions

Dan Clay, Jeff Anderson, and the UFCW 555 Leadership team are actively engaging Oregon’s Governor and working with other UFCW Locals in Washington to get our members additional support during this crisis. In the meantime, you have rights already available to you. Following are some answers to some frequently asked questions about benefits and sick leave.

Your Health Care

March 16, 2020

Attention members of the UFCW Local 555 Health Trust (Kaiser Permanente/Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield):

In light of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Trustees are taking the following actions so members/participants may access vital health care and testing:

  1. Waiving any out-of-pocket costs associated with testing for COVID-19 for both preferred and non-preferred providers.
  2. Prior authorization requirements for treatment or testing of COVID-19 is suspended.
  3. Requirements for early refills on maintenance prescription drugs are loosened.

Your Union Leadership is continuing to engage on all levels to secure  jobs and services for our Members in these challenging times. We will continue to update you as progress is made on our efforts. 

Please contact the Trust if you have any questions.

866-796-7623

Who do I contact for UFCW medical coverage information?

Provider

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield (Regence) medical benefits, ID cards, pre-authorization, provider directories

    Blue Cross Blue Shield (Regence) medical benefits, ID cards, pre-authorization, provider directories

  • Anything through your Kaiser plan (medical/dental/vision, ID cards, benefits, claims)

    Anything through your Kaiser plan (medical/dental/vision, ID cards, benefits, claims)

  • Medical coverage/eligibility, demographic/personal changes (including address changes), proof of insurance, COBRA, 2nd level claim appeals, and other questions

    Medical coverage/eligibility, demographic/personal changes (including address changes), proof of insurance, COBRA, 2nd level claim appeals, and other questions

  • If you do not have coverage though the Union Trust, we encourage you to turn to your health insurer/provider for the most up-to-date information.

    If you do not have coverage though the Union Trust, we encourage you to turn to your health insurer/provider for the most up-to-date information.

Contact information

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield (Regence) medical benefits, ID cards, pre-authorization, provider directories

    800-452-8767
    www.or.regence.com

  • Anything through your Kaiser plan (medical/dental/vision, ID cards, benefits, claims)

    800-813-2000
    www.kp.org

  • Medical coverage/eligibility, demographic/personal changes (including address changes), proof of insurance, COBRA, 2nd level claim appeals, and other questions

    866-796-7623
    ufcw555.org/medical

  • If you do not have coverage though the Union Trust, we encourage you to turn to your health insurer/provider for the most up-to-date information.

Do I qualify for UFCW 555 Trust Disability Benefits?

March 16, 2020

You may be eligible for Short Term Disability pay in addition to any sick leave pay under our UFCW 555 Trust plan. Please call the trust office at 866-796-7623 for more information.

Do I qualify for Unemployment Benefits?

March 16, 2020

Workers are eligible for unemployment benefits in both Oregon and Washington when:

  • An employer must shut down due to quarantine.
  • The employer shuts down due to a business slowdown or lack of demand
  • The employer reduces hours available due to a business slowdown or lack of demand

Under Washington’s emergency rule, Washington residents are eligible for unemployment when:

  • A worker is immunocompromised and advised to quarantine
  • A worker was exposed and quarantined
  • A worker is mildly ill with COVID-19

Please contact your Union Representative at 503-684-2822 if you do not know how to apply for unemployment benefits. They will be happy to assist you with the process.

Oregon expands child care benefits to support families and providers during spread of COVID-19

March 17, 2020

Salem, OR — To support Oregon’s working families dealing with the spread of COVID-19, Governor Brown directed the Oregon Department of Human Services and and the Early Learning Division to make changes to child care benefits. The temporary changes, which are effective immediately, will help more low-income, working families access child care and help providers stay in business during the state of emergency.

See the full news release

How do I get paid if I become sick?

March 17, 2020

Albertsons and Safeway employees:
Your employer will pay any worker diagnosed with COVID-19 up to two weeks of replacement pay while they are unable to work. If a worker is unable to return to work after two weeks, they will then be able to use any sick leave they are normally entitled to. Any worker who is required to self-quarantine will also be paid up to two weeks of replacement pay if they are required to do so by their health care provider or if the employer requests they do so based on current CDC risk assessment factors.

Fred Meyer employees:
Kroger has enacted an emergency leave policy, allowing for paid time off for workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 and for workers placed under mandatory quarantine by their medical provider or by a public health authority because of COVID-19. All eligible workers will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks.

Prevention

March 16, 2020

From the CDC:

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Stay home if you’re sick

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

First Day Sick Pay

March 16, 2020

In Oregon and Washington, nearly all workers get protected time off work. We fought for this right. The ability to take time off to take care of ourselves and our loved ones is now more important than ever.

In both Oregon and Washington you can use your sick leave to take care of the health needs of yourself or a family member, and when your workplace or your child’s school has been closed by a public health official.

Additional information:

Contact your rep if you need help understanding or defending your rights.

Oregon First Day Sick Pay

 


Download this flier

Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave:
The Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance program is still being developed. Benefits are expected to become available in January of 2023.

Washington First Day Sick Pay

 


Download this flier

Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave:
A worker in Washington state may be eligible for Paid Family and Medical Leave when:

  • They are severely ill with COVID-19
  • They are caring for a sick family member

School closures

In both Oregon and Washington, you can use your paid and protected sick leave to take time off when your child’s school is closed by officials during an outbreak. Contact your rep if you need help understanding or defending your rights.

Oregon

Washington

As of March 13, Washington schools closed starting March 17-April 24.

Additional resources: