Across the nation, COVID-19 continues to strain essential grocery workers. While these essential workers continue to put themselves at risk to serve their communities, many are faced with reduced hours and a loss of pandemic-related hazard pay. The need in our communities remains strong, especially with many employers attempting to set the expectation that this should be the new normal. While the safety and scheduling needs of those who were/are able to work remotely have been accommodated by many employers during this time, the very essential workers working tirelessly to keep the nation’s supply chains open are not offered the same level of safety, consistent income or resources.
For all these reasons, on August 13-14, members from Local 555, alongside Congressman Kurt Schrader and more than two dozen labor and community organizations, came together to assemble boxes of food for the “Workers Helping Workers” food drive. Over 1,000 food boxes were those in need on August 15. This marks the 3,000th box of food the program has handed out. Two previous distributions were held in June — one of them at our Union Hall on June 25. At each event 1,000 boxes of food were handed out.
This small but vital lifeline is made possible by the hard work of the labor groups involved, including the Northwest Oregon Labor Council, Oregon ALF-CIO, and Labor’s Community Service Agency. Workers protecting workers is exactly what the labor movement is all about. During times of trouble, we will always have each other’s backs in Union solidarity.