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On Workers Memorial Day, UFCW Calls on Elected Leaders to Take Action to Protect the Lives of All Essential Workers

April 28, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), America’s largest private sector union representing 1.3 million essential workers in grocery stores, meatpacking plants, and other essential industries across North America, commemorated Workers Memorial Day, the international annual day of remembrance honoring workers who have been killed, injured, disabled, or harmed in the workplace.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

For more than two years, amid an historic pandemic, over 1.3 million UFCW members have served as essential frontline workers, keeping the nation fed and the economy running in a moment of unparalleled crisis. Again and again, these hard-working men and women have continuously put their lives on the line. Tragically, tens of thousands have either been infected, passed away, or watched their co-workers and loved ones impacted by this deadly virus.

“These workers – and millions of others, across all industries, who have sacrificed everything – must be remembered not just today on Workers Memorial Day, but every day. They deserve so much more than what they get from those in power, and it is time our nation’s CEOs and elected leaders take a stand for them and their families.

“In this moment when America’s workers are facing ever-evolving hazards, we must do more than just honor their memories and sacrifices. Those in positions of power must take the necessary steps to improve workplace safety, continue to mitigate the risks posed by the pandemic, reduce the threat of violence in the workplace, and protect those who have made life-changing sacrifices while serving as essential workers for all of us during this time of crisis.”


UFCW has been the leading national voice for essential workers
in meatpacking, grocery, retail, and many other frontline industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID remains of the most pressing safety issues facing Americans in the workplace, UFCW has continued to fight to improve outcomes for its members and workers everywhere.

COVID NUMBERS: In the latest data compiled, UFCW confirmed that among the union’s members nationwide, there have already been at least:

  • 505 frontline worker deaths and at least 131,295 frontline workers infected or exposed, including:
    • 209 grocery worker deaths and at least 70,807 grocery workers infected or exposed
    • 135 meatpacking worker deaths and 24,395 meatpacking workers infected or exposed


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