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.

Oregon Labor Candidate School’s 2020-2021 applications open!

July 24, 2020

 

Applications are open to join the Oregon Labor Candidate School’s 2020-2021 cohort! Now more than ever, it is imperative that union members get elected to positions of power so that our collective voice is heard. This is an incredible opportunity to learn more about the political process and what it takes to run.

Apply

UFCW National Pension Plan and Oregon Retail Employees Pension Trust

July 24, 2020

 

News has been circulating about The UFCW National Pension Plan allowing employers to withdraw and moving employees into a variable annuity-based pension plan. UFCW Local 555 has no members in this plan. Our Oregon Retail Employees Pension Trust is not making any changes as there is no interest or need to do so. Our Unity Negotiation Team secured additional funding for our pension during the last round of contract negotiations which met current needs for additional funding.

If you have questions about your retirement plan, you should contact either the Trust office (866-796-7623) or your union representative.

UFCW 555 Retirement page

Meeting with Governor Brown

July 23, 2020

 

Your Union met with Governor Brown to discuss ongoing safety issues in grocery stores.

Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Anderson, along with rank and file members from stores met with Governor Brown on July 22nd to discuss the ongoing safety issues that are impacting you related to COVID 19. These members made it clear that we need the Governor to actively intervene in our industry, and not rely on trust to protect people’s lives. This means utilizing OSHA, BOLI, and other state agencies to enforce the ordinance and hold employers accountable. There is no value in an unenforceable ordinance.

The Governor was considerate, attentive, and understanding of the situation. We will continue to work with the governor to provide stronger safeguards, and you will be informed as we develop an enforcement process.


Have you seen customers not taking steps to ensure you have a safe working environment? Share your story so we can share your story at www.ufcw555.org/covid19stories

Share your story

Workers Helping Workers food drive

July 22, 2020

UPDATE: DATE CHANGED TO AUGUST 15

July 21, 2020

Are you or someone you know experiencing hard times due to the COVID Pandemic? If so, sign up to reserve your food box from the Workers Helping Workers food drive. This Saturday, from 9am to 3pm, we are giving out 1,000 boxes of food staples from the Operating Engineers Local 701 offices, headquarters of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 701, 555 First St, Gladstone, OR 97027. Sign up to reserve your box today!

UFCW Local 555 is proud to be working with a wide range of fellow unions, and the Oregon AFL-CIO to provide this much needed service to working families in need during these trying times!

 

Sign up

Meeting with Governor Brown Postponed to Wednesday

July 20, 2020

 

The meeting we had set today with Governor Brown has been postponed until Wednesday. The team of members we have put together will testify then, and will ask the Governor to provide for the safety of workers utilizing OSHA, BOLI, Workers Compensation and other state programs to offer the best protection possible in our grocery stores, pharmacies, and other industries.

Team of members telling Governor Brown their stories

July 17, 2020

 

With the meeting set for Monday, Governor Brown will talk to Local 555 Members about the dangers you face working in the industry every day in the era of COVID-19. We have put together a team of members who we believe will be able to talk to the Governor effectively and tell her their stories:

  • Sarah DeMerrit from Safeway
  • Bruce York from Albertsons,
  • Art Noriega from Rosauers,
  • Lisa Anderson from Fred Meyer.

These members will ensure the needs of front-line workers during the pandemic are addressed. They will ask the Governor to provide for the safety of workers utilizing OSHA, BOLI, Workers Compensation and other state programs to offer the best protection possible in our grocery stores, pharmacies, and other industries.

Kroger announces mask requirement

July 15, 2020

 

Kroger has announced that starting next Wednesday, they will finally require customers to wear masks to protect you. There is already a statewide mandate in place for this, however even if the right rule is in place, the rule doesn’t matter if there is no enforcement.

More needs to be done to protect our industry. We have a meeting on July 20th with Governor Brown to talk to Local 555 Members about the dangers you face working at Fred Meyer, Safeway, Albertsons, and Rosauers.

Cincinnati.com: Kroger to require shoppers wear masks as U.S. COVID-19 cases soar, hours after Walmart announces mask mandate 

Statewide COVID restrictions and requirements, meeting set with Governor Brown

July 14, 2020

 

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announces ban on indoor social gatherings of more than 10 people, outdoor mask mandate

We are still on the front lines of this pandemic. Fred Meyer, and other employers, are STILL not taking the steps they should to protect their workers. While the Governor may have just announced that further steps will be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s not enough.

While Governor Kate Brown may have taken further steps yesterday to protect the public, we need more done to protect our industry. On July 20th, we have a meeting for Governor Brown to hear directly from members working in Fred Meyer, Safeway, Albertsons, and Rosauers, on the dangers that you face everyday.

Have you seen customers not taking steps to ensure you have a safe working environment? Share your story so we can share your story at https://www.ufcw555.org/covid19stories/

Protect Working People & Families During COVID-19 Recovery Petition

June 26, 2020

 

 

Our members are risking their lives and the health of their families to provide for the community. The Oregon Legislature is back in special session and our elected leaders are beginning to forge a recovery plan. Protecting working people and the communities they serve must be a central focus. UFCW Local 555 continues to fight for Presumptive Workers’ Compensation assurance for those on the front lines. If essential workers get sick on the job, workers’ compensation must be provided! Please sign the petition below to add to the collective voice.

Protect Working People & Families During COVID-19 Recovery

Mask requirements in 7 Oregon counties and the state of Washington.

June 24, 2020

 

Starting today in Oregon for 7 counties (Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Marion, Polk, Hood River and Lincoln counties) and on Friday for the entire State of Washington, masks will be required for all people in public indoor spaces.

It’s about time that the CEOs who run Safeway, Albertsons, and Fred Meyer see the same thing the governors are seeing. The hazard is not over.

Brought to you by Workers Helping Workers...

Food distribution for workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic!
June 25, 10am-1pm.
Pick up at our Local office:
7095 SW Sandburg St, Portland.

📝Sign up ahead of time here:
www.workershelpingworkers.com/foodbox-signup

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. ✊

Updated June 5, 2020

Albertsons and Safeway:

  • $2 an hour for all employees
  • Through June 13 as of 5/29/20

 


Sherms:

  • $2 an hour for all employees

 

 


Nap’s Thriftway:

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

 

 


Fred Meyer:

UPDATE 5/15/2020: Fred Meyer just notified your Union leadership that once Hazard pay ends, they will be providing a thank you “bonus.”

Rodney McMullen, the CEO of Kroger, who got a 19% raise last year, makes $12,000,000 annually, and Kroger is making record profits during the pandemic.

Over the next 5 weeks Kroger will pay thank you “bonuses,” totaling as much as $400 for full time members, and $200 for part time members. The employer has not been clear on the details, so your Union leadership has demanded a meeting with Fred Meyer over this cut.

We will let you know the details once we have more information.

More about the end of Hero pay:

Is the hazard over at your store? Submit a video telling your story here. 

Reopening our states

June 5, 2020

 

Over 2/3 of Oregon counties and 14 Washington will be moving into phase 2 (or phase 3 in Washington) in the coming days. Review the links below for more information on what opening means for you.

Store Capacity Limits- State of Washington

May 12, 2020

With our voices, we made a change for stronger and safer workplaces and communities!

Members of UFCW 555 are speaking out against overcrowding in grocery stores:

“The amount of customers is overwhelming, They do not respect us as humans”

“I don’t feel safe at work, haven’t since this all started.”

“The store is overcrowded, they’re not following the CDC guidelines for social distancing”

Together we got a sensible and effective policy to ensure the safety of workers and shoppers. Washington stores are now safer, but our work is not done yet. Stores in Oregon are still overcrowded, and Kroger thinks it is okay to end Hero/Hazard pay when the hazard isn’t over.

It’s time for Governor Brown in Oregon to do the right thing. Sign the petition here:
https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/protectretailworkers/

Child care programs

April 10, 2020

If you are an Essential Worker in need of Emergency Child Care during the COVID-19 crisis, contact 211info to receive a customized referral to emergency child care programs with available openings.

To contact a Child Care Referral Specialist:
  • CALL 211 or 1-866-698-6155. Listen to the prompt for
    Child Care and press the specified number.
  • TEXT keyword “children” or “niños” to 898211 (TXT211).
  • EMAIL children@211info.org
  • WEBSITE 211info.org
  • HOURS Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    Saturday – Sunday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
211info.org
If you are an Essential Worker* in need of Emergency Child Care during the COVID-19 crisis, contact 211info to receive a customized referral to emergency child care programs with available openings.

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.

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.

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.

Additional resources: