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March 21, 2020

UFCW & Safeway agree on increases, sick leave for employees during coronavirus crisis

After close talks this week between Safeway and the UFCW, we are proud to support the significant wage increase the company has adopted in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“What Safeway did today shows real leadership,” said UFCW Marc Perrone a statement in response to the news. “Safeway and the UFCW both recognize that grocery store workers are on the frontlines of this crisis. They are vital to our food supply, and serving the needs of millions of American families.”

The UFCW has been in talks with many of the top employers in the grocery industry on what employees concerns are and how to best address them and protect the health of those who are working during the COVID-19 outbreak so that the rest of us can still buy food.

“At a time of such national crisis, where food is so vital, it is critical that every employer do more to protect our food supply and grocery stores by protecting the hardworking men and women who work there and keep them open.”

 

 

March 21, 2020

UFCW and Stop & Shop Announce Ten Percent Pay Raise for Grocery Workers During Coronavirus Pandemic

Over 70,000 Workers Across New England, New York, and New Jersey to Receive Raise, Additional Two Weeks Paid Sick Leave

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, retail, and other industries, applauded Stop & Shop for giving all union Stop & Shop and Peapod employees represented by the UFCW a ten percent increase in pay during the coronavirus outbreak. Workers will also receive two additional weeks of paid leave if they become sick.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“After discussions between Stop & Shop and the UFCW, Stop & Shop is announcing a 10 percent raise and additional sick leave for grocery workers during the coronavirus pandemic. This essential pay and benefit increase will not only protect these hard-working men and women, it will help protect the food supply throughout our communities.

“As we know, grocery workers like Stop & Shop employees have been on the front lines of this crisis, serving the needs of millions of families in the northeast. Protecting them is absolutely essential to our communities and food supply now more than ever.

“Every supermarket, grocery store, and food retail employer – union and non-union – in the Northeast and across America must follow the example that Stop & Shop has set and follow their lead.”

Background:

UFCW International and UFCW Locals have been negotiating with employers across the country to recognize how hard grocery workers are working to provide necessary food and supplies to their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • UFCW and Safeway announced that Safeway would provide a two-dollar-per-hour increase in pay for its grocery workers across the country during the outbreak.
  • In California, UFCW Locals applauded Stater Bros. Markets for implementing a $2.00-per-hour pay raise to its workers. The raise will apply to all hourly employees over the course of four weeks beginning March 23.
  • In Missouri, UFCW Local Union 655 secured a deal for grocery workers at Schnucks, Dierbergs, and Straubs to waive all co-pays for coronavirus testing, maintain pay for those who become sick, and expand access to telemedicine with zero out-of-pocket costs.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.

 

 

March 20, 2020

UFCW & Safeway Coronavirus Talks Lead to Grocery Worker Pay Raise for Employees Across the Country

America’s Largest Grocery Worker Union & Safeway Announce $2 an Hour Pay Increase for Safeway Employees on the Front Lines of the Outbreak

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, retail, and other industries, applauded the move by Safeway to provide a two-dollar-per-hour increase in pay for its grocery workers across the country during the coronavirus outbreak.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“After close talks between Safeway and UFCW, the union representing over 1.3 million grocery store and food processing workers, we are proud to support the significant wage increase adopted by Safeway, one of America’s largest supermarket companies.  “Safeway and the UFCW both recognize that grocery store workers are on the frontlines of this crisis. They are vital to our food supply, and serving the needs of millions of American families.  “What Safeway did today shows real leadership. They worked with our union family and they recognized the incredible hard work and sacrifices that our members and all grocery workers are making every single day across this nation. This pay increase will not only help protect these workers and support their families, it will also ensure they are able to continue to perform an absolutely vital role in our communities.  “We hope that this sends a message to every supermarket, grocery store, and food retail employer – union and non-union – across this country that it is time for every company to recognize the sacrifice America’s food workers are making – sacrifices that Safeway has rightfully recognized and which other companies must also recognize.  “At a time of such national crisis, where food is so vital, it is critical that every employer do more to protect our food supply and grocery stores by protecting the hardworking men and women who work there and keep them open.”

Background:

Earlier this week, UFCW Local Unions 21, 367, and 1439 in Washington State announced a deal with Safeway as well as Albertsons and Fred Meyer/QFC grocery stores to provide two weeks of paid leave for these workers, strengthen childcare access, and protect healthcare coverage for any workers who become sick.

In Missouri, UFCW Local Union 655 also secured a deal for local grocery workers to waive all co-pays for coronavirus testing, maintain pay for those who become sick, and expand access to telemedicine with zero out-of-pocket costs.

UFCW also recognized Michigan, Minnesota, and Vermont this week for designating their states’ grocery workers as front line responders, expanding access to free childcare as these employees continue to help local families during this crisis.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.

March 19, 2020

UFCW Applauds States for Offering Emergency Protections to Grocery Workers on Front Lines of Coronavirus

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Praises Leadership in Michigan, Minnesota, and Vermont to Provide Childcare for At-Risk Workers 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the largest U.S. private sector union which represents grocery workers across the country, praised leaders in Minnesota, Michigan, and Vermont for recognizing the critical work being done by grocery workers in their states. All have indicated that grocery workers, similar to health care workers and other essential personnel, will be provided with childcare.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“UFCW members in grocery and retail stores across the country are working around the clock to make sure that families have the food and supplies they need. We applaud Minnesota, Michigan, and Vermont for recognizing that these workers are on the front lines, providing an essential service to their communities.

“As our country confronts this outbreak and its devastating impact on our economy, there has never been a more important time for strong leadership. Congress must follow the lead of these states and provide paid leave and other essential protections needed to support the brave grocery and retail workers keeping our communities strong.”

Background:

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued a directive as part of an order for “Care for Children of Families of Emergency Workers,” which instructs closed schools to continue to provide care for children of emergency personnel who are “critical to the response of COVID-19.” Under the order, grocery workers are considered “essential tier 2 workers” and would be covered. Minnesota officials stated that “districts should make every effort to provide care for school-age children” of these workers.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order to expand the capacity for childcare services for health care workers, first responders, and other members of the essential workforce providing critical infrastructure to Michiganders during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. This expands the essential workforce to include grocery workers who are helping to provide essential supplies and goods during the outbreak.

Vermont is developing a plan to reimburse private childcare centers for providing care to essential workers. Public safety commissioner Michael Schirling announced that his office would add grocery store workers to the list of essential employees who would receive services like childcare.

Last week, as part of UFCW’s advocacy for grocery workers on the front lines, the union sent a letter to President Trump and Congressional leaders outlining the union’s top policy priorities for economic relief legislation.

In the letter, UFCW called for action by Congress and the White House to provide the aid needed for the nearly 80 million hourly workers – representing about 60 percent of the U.S. workforce – who are most at risk. Top UFCW priorities for worker relief in the letter include:

  • At least two weeks of paid sick leave for all workers
  • Extension of unemployment benefits for workers temporarily laid off or whose work hours have been disrupted
  • Protection against unfair termination or discrimination for those suspected of being exposed to the coronavirus.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

March 15, 2020

UFCW: Congress is Failing American Workers with Coronavirus Relief Bill that Puts Corporations First

Ahead of Senate Vote, Largest U.S. Private Sector Union Calls for Congress to Immediately Strengthen Worker Aid in Coronavirus Relief Bill  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the largest U.S. private sector union, condemned Congress for passing a coronavirus relief bill that fails to provide real relief to millions of American workers in the grocery, retail, and food processing industries.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“We are in the middle of a national crisis, and America’s grocery, retail, and food processing workers are on the front lines. These workers must be protected. It is unacceptable that Congress is proposing a bill that fails to cover 80 percent of the workforce. Even worse, the bill’s paid leave protections were gutted as a result of pressure from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents giant corporations like Amazon and Walmart.

“Our country’s grocery, retail, and food processing workers are working tirelessly during this outbreak to help keep calm and ensure families get the food and supplies they need. We need these workers to stay healthy more than ever before, but this flawed legislation will force them to choose between their health and work. In the middle of a pandemic, such poor policy making is unacceptable and outrageous. Both parties must put people and public health first.

“We are urging Republicans and Democrats to work together to fix this broken bill and pass real protections, including two week paid sick leave, immediately.”

Background:

Last week, UFCW sent a letter to President Trump and Congressional leaders outlining the union’s top policy priorities for economic relief legislation.

In the letter, UFCW called for action by Congress and the White House to provide the aid needed for the nearly 80 million hourly workers – representing about 60 percent of the U.S. workforce – who are most at risk. Top UFCW priorities for worker relief in the letter include:

  • At least two weeks of paid sick leave for all workers;
  • Extension of unemployment benefits for workers temporarily laid off or whose work hours have been disrupted;
  • Protection against unfair termination or discrimination for those suspected of being exposed to the coronavirus.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

March 13, 2020

UFCW: Congress Must Act Now to Help American Workers and Families at Risk in Coronavirus Outbreak

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Calls for Passage of Families First Coronavirus Response Act to Help Workers Across the Country 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is calling on members of Congress to swiftly pass H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to ensure that American workers and families hurt by the coronavirus outbreak receive the economic assistance they need. UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“America’s grocery and retail workers are working tirelessly during this outbreak to help families in their communities get the food and supplies they need. Our country’s 80 million hourly workers are the ones most at risk and they need action from Congress now.

“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a strong step to help American workers by expanding access to free coronavirus testing, providing assistance for displaced workers, strengthening food initiatives for families in need, and ensuring that no one in this country has to choose between their health and a paycheck.

“With our economy spiraling, American workers cannot afford any delays by Congress. UFCW is calling on our country’s leaders – both Republicans and Democrats – to come together now to pass this bill and provide the relief workers need.”

BACKGROUND:

Earlier this week, UFCW sent a letter to President Trump and Congressional leaders outlining the union’s top policy priorities for economic relief legislation.

In the letter, UFCW called for action by Congress and the White House to provide the aid needed for the nearly 80 million hourly workers – representing about 60 percent of the U.S. workforce – who are most at risk.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act addresses many of the priorities in the UFCW letter and provides additional economic relief for workers in need, including:

  • Free coronavirus testing for everyone, including the uninsured
  • Paid leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and family and medical leave for workers affected by virus
  • Unemployment payments for displaced workers
  • Food security initiatives supporting student meals as well as SNAP, seniors’ meals and food banks
  • Protection against unfair termination or discrimination for workers with potential exposure

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

 

March 13, 2020

UFCW: Amazon and Whole Foods Shamelessly Exploit Workers Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

America’s Largest Grocery Union Condemns Move by Amazon-Owned Company to Deny Paid Leave, Ask “Healthy” Workers to Donate Paid Time Off

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the largest grocery union in the country, condemned Whole Foods for refusing to provide paid leave to their employees until after testing positive for coronavirus. Instead, the Amazon-owned company suggested its employees should “donate” their paid time to co-workers facing medical emergencies. 

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Whole Foods CEO John Mackey should be ashamed of themselves for refusing to offer paid leave to employees until after they test positive for coronavirus. I’m not sure if these two CEOs know this, but testing is incredibly scarce in this country at the moment. Equally outrageous is the suggestion that Whole Foods workers donate their paid leave to workers who may become ill with the coronavirus. 

“With our economy spiraling and millions of workers struggling, the last thing Whole Foods workers need is to be told by a CEO worth millions that they have to choose between their health and their paycheck.

“In the face of a growing national and global coronavirus pandemic, it is time for Amazon and Whole Foods to start caring more about its workers and our communities than its profits.”   

Background: 

As reported by VICE News, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey sent an email to the company’s grocery store employees this week suggesting that employees “donate” their paid time off (PTO) to coworkers facing medical emergencies during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Whole Foods will only offer paid time off to employees after they test positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. With coronavirus testing incredibly scarce, this leaves Whole Foods employees – and all Amazon employees covered by the policy – at great risk before they are able to get tested. 

UFCW has been a vocal critic of Amazon’s aggressive move to devalue and degrade grocery jobs at Whole Foods. In September 2019, slammed the company for cutting medical benefits for hundreds of part-time workers. In March 2019, UFCW condemned actions by Whole Foods to reduce employee hours just months after Amazon announced a wage increase that was supposed to be an investment in Whole Foods workers.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

 

March 13, 2020

UFCW: Pork Industry Exploits Coronavirus to Destroy American Jobs, Fatten Profits

Union Representing 30,000 Pork Workers Slams Pork Industry Effort to Manipulate Outbreak, Push Americans Out of Jobs, and Further Weaken Economy 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union condemned a new effort by the National Pork Producers Council to exploit the coronavirus outbreak to cut jobs for American workers through a needless expansion of the U.S. guest worker program. 

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement: 

“Exploiting the coronavirus outbreak to destroy American jobs and further weaken our economy is a national disgrace. This shameless move to manipulate our country’s guest worker program – all to replace American workers and fatten corporate profits – deserves the strongest oversight by Congress and federal regulators. 

“At a time when our economy is spiraling, the last thing Americans need is giant corporations watering down safeguards that protect American workers and our country’s food safety. American jobs in the pork industry are good jobs that have strengthened communities for generations. Our country’s leaders – both Republicans and Democrats – must reject this move and stand up for American workers.” 

Background: 

The National Pork Producers Council sent a letter to members of Congress and other U.S. Government officials with exaggerated claims about the impact of coronavirus outbreak on the U.S. labor supply for pork plants.  

America’s pork workers help to put food on the table for millions of families across the country. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents 30,000 workers in the pork slaughter industry. 

UFCW members handle 71 percent of all hogs slaughtered and processed in the United States. These UFCW members are highly skilled professionals who produce the safe, high-quality food Americans count on.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

March 11, 2020

UFCW: Health and Economic Well-Being of American Workers Must be Protected Amidst Coronavirus

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Calls on White House and Congress for Immediate Action to Protect Workers and Address Economic Impact of Coronavirus 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), is calling for immediate action by our nation’s elected leaders to develop and implement policies to ensure that workers – salaried and hourly – do not have to choose between their health and making ends meet. In a letter to elected leaders UFCW President Marc Perrone said the following:

“Nearly 80 million American workers – or 59 percent of the entire U.S. workforce – are hourly employees who only get paid for the hours they work. As the financial impact of the coronavirus is felt across every community, these hard-working men and women are on the front lines.

“I am urging each of our nation’s elected leaders to develop immediate policies that ensure that workers – salaried and hourly – do not have to choose between work and their health. These policies should not only protect workers against financial loss (from loss of hours or job loss), but should further ensure that workers seek out immediate medical attention if they feel sick or believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus.

“Now, more than ever, it is time that we all focus on what matters most – protecting our families, our communities, and this nation.”

BACKGROUND:

Top policy priorities UFCW is calling on elected leaders to consider as part of any package to address the economic impact of the coronavirus include:

  • At least two weeks of paid sick leave for all workers;
  • Extension of unemployment benefits for workers temporarily laid off or whose work hours have been disrupted;
  • Payroll tax cuts for all lower- and middle-income workers; and
  • Protection against unfair termination or discrimination for those suspected of being exposed to the coronavirus.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

 

March 9, 2020

UFCW Statement on Amazon Cashierless Tech Expansion

America’s Largest Retail Union Calls Amazon Platform Threat to 16 Million Jobs, Trojan Horse to Access Customer Data of Competitors 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union announced its opposition to Amazon expanding its cashierless technology to other retailers, the latest move by the company to force this platform on more consumers and companies. UFCW International President Marc Perrone issued the following statement:

“Let there be no doubt that Amazon represents a direct threat to 16 million American retail jobs and is part of a ruthless strategy to eliminate as many good jobs as possible.

“This so-called cashierless technology is nothing but a trojan horse that will let Amazon control and monopolize competing retailers and give Jeff Bezos direct access to their customer data. It is time for regulators and our elected leaders to act before Amazon does lasting damage to our already-fragile economy.

“Every politician running in 2020 needs to tell voters whose side they are on. Will you roll over for billionaire CEOs like Jeff Bezos or will you stand up and fight for good American jobs?”

Background: 

As reported today by Reuters, Amazon will sell the technology behind its cashier-less stores to other retailers. In Amazon Go stores, this technology faced a national backlash from customers and lawmakers for discriminating against low-income shoppers and threatening good jobs.

Amazon expanding its cashierless technology to other retailers would likely:

  • Discriminate against over 24 million U.S. households are underbanked
  • Threaten the jobs of America’s 16 million retail workers
  • Grow the cashierless retail tech market to $50 billion and force widespread adoption
  • Give Amazon unfair access to its competitors’ customer data, raising privacy concerns

This comes less than two weeks after Amazon opened its first full-size cashierless grocery store in Seattle, the company’s biggest move yet in a ruthless strategy to take over America’s $800 billion grocery industry.

Together, these recent moves are part of a broader and aggressive campaign by Amazon to further dominate the U.S. retail industry and force its competitors to rely on Amazon technology to stay in business.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.