WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million frontline workers — including over 20,000 Georgia workers — applauded the election of Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the U.S. Senate Runoff in Georgia, calling it a victory for working families across Georgia. UFCW is the union for essential workers in grocery stores and meatpacking plants who have been vital to protecting Georgia’s food supply as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:
“Georgia voters delivered a powerful message with the election of Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, declaring that hardworking men and women, and their concerns and issues, must come first. Over a million hard-working UFCW members have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, bravely putting their own health at risk in grocery stores, pharmacies, senior care facilities, and meatpacking plants to ensure that America’s families have the food and care they need during this crisis.
“As COVID-19 cases continue to spread across this nation, there has never been a more important time for new leaders who will finally put frontline workers first and stand up for the healthcare, hazard pay, and vital safety protections they need.
“UFCW members across Georgia and every state were proud to help get out the vote and are ready to work with the new Democratic majority and Senators-elect Warnock and Ossoff to deliver the positive and real change our country and families need.”
UFCW represents 1.3 million workers, including over 20,000 Georgia frontline workers. The union released the following numbers on the growing impact of COVID-19 on its members:
- 373 frontline worker deaths and over 66,800 frontline workers infected or exposed
- 124 grocery worker deaths and 23,100 grocery workers infected or exposed
- 131 meatpacking worker deaths and 20,800 meatpacking workers infected or exposed
UFCW is calling for Governor Kemp and leaders in all 50 states to prioritize essential workers for the COVID-19 vaccine, in accordance with new CDC recommendations. Vaccine access for these essential workers has never been more urgent with a new wave of COVID outbreaks in grocery stores. This includes at least 174 grocery worker infections at a single Costco store and additional grocery outbreaks in Los Angeles and Seattle.
UFCW International is the largest private sector union in the United States. UFCW International represents 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.