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Biden HHS Pick Xavier Becerra Applauded by UFCW as Powerful Champion for American Workers on the Frontlines of COVID-19 Pandemic

December 7, 2020

Xavier Becerra

America’s Largest Food & Retail Union Representing 1.3 Million Workers Says Becerra Ready to Help Lead Biden Pandemic Response and Put America’s Essential Workers First

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million frontline workers in grocery stores, meatpacking plants, healthcare and other frontline industries, applauded President-elect Joe Biden for choosing California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) in his administration.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“America’s essential workers who are still on the frontlines of this pandemic need strong leaders who will put their health and safety first. President-elect Biden’s choice of Xavier Becerra as HHS Secretary sends a clear message that this administration is ready to fight for our country’s frontline workers.

“As California’s Attorney General and throughout his career, Xavier Becerra has always been a champion for American workers. Whether it was pushing to strengthen pandemic workplace protections, holding gig economy companies accountable for denying workers the benefits they earned, or supporting a strong pro-worker agenda in Congress, Xavier Becerra has always put hardworking families first. 

“Protecting our country’s essential workers is crucial to taking control of this pandemic and rebuilding the economy. As the union for 1.3 million food and retail workers, UFCW is proud to support Xavier Becerra as HHS Secretary. Helping to lead the Biden Administration’s pandemic response, Xavier Becerra will always put America’s working families first.”

Background

UFCW has been a leading national voice for frontline workers during the pandemic and recently called on the CDC to prioritize essential workers for COVID-19 vaccine access. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has been a strong champion for essential workers, pushing for pandemic workplace protectionsholding gig economy companies accountable for denying worker benefits, and leading a strong pro-worker agenda when he served in Congress. 

New UFCW numbers show the rapidly growing impact of COVID-19. Among the union’s members, there have already been at least 350 frontline worker deaths and at least 48,000 frontline workers infected or exposed.

In grocery stores, the union reports there have already been at least 109 grocery worker deaths, including over 17,400 grocery workers infected or exposed to the virus.

In meatpacking plants, the union confirms there have already been at least 128 meatpacking worker deaths and over 19,800 meatpacking workers infected or exposed.

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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