Many of you have shared how rewarding yet difficult working through the COVID-19 crisis is. Stories are pouring in — long exhausting hours, stressed customers, and risk of infection from working with the public. At the same time, an adequate and stable food supply and functioning healthcare system are key to avoiding social chaos. Essential personnel must be protected as we stand face-to-face with COVID-19.
Jeff Anderson and I are in negotiations with employers and in contact with legislators to fight for the protections you need to stay safe at work, and the compensation you deserve for serving our communities in a crisis. We’ve partnered with multiple UFCW Locals to demand a safe and fair workplace for all our members. We have secured the following protections for frontline workers:
• Additional hourly compensation at Safeway, Albertsons, Naps Thriftway, Franz, and Fred Meyer.
• Replacement pay for members in many stores who are unable to work due to COVID-19.
• Agreements with several employers to not ask employees to remove masks.
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is ordered and on the way for the majority of members. Plexiglass sneeze guards at Safeway andAlbertsons, with more on the way at Fred Meyer stores.
• Adjusted store hours at many of our represented stores, as well as specific hours limited for seniors and other high-risk shoppers.
We continue to work on:
• Negotiations with Fred Meyer, Safeway, and Albertsons stores to reduce customer capacity.
• First responder protections to prioritize grocery workers for things like COVID-19 testing after healthcare workers, protective gear, and needed financial assistance.
• Common sense protections like banning reusable bags during the state of emergency, mandatory workplace disinfecting, and suspending the paper bag fee.
• Agreements with employers to provide full disclosure of COVID-19 cases in the workplace.
Like you, your union is still working and like you, we’ve never been busier. We won’t stop fighting for our members working during the pandemic. So long as you’re on the frontline, we’re there with you.