Union for 1.3 Million Food and Retail Workers Continues Successful Push for Hazard Pay As COVID-19 Risks Increase Ahead of Thanksgiving and Holiday Shopping Season
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) – which represents 1.3 million food and retail workers – announced a new agreement with ShopRite on hazard pay for nearly 50,000 union grocery workers in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. The deal recognizes the ongoing risks ShopRite workers have faced as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and provides retroactive hazard pay ahead of the holiday season that covers all hours worked between July 26 and August 22.
UFCW confirmed this week that there have been at least 109 grocery worker deaths and over 48,000 grocery workers infected or exposed since the pandemic began. Today’s deal was reached by ShopRite workers across the Northeast who are members of UFCW Local Unions (One, 152, 342, 360, 371, 464A, 1262, 1500) and RWDSU Local 338.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:
“Grocery workers have been on the frontlines since this pandemic began and continue to put themselves in harm’s way to help families put food on this Thanksgiving. This new UFCW agreement is a powerful victory for ShopRite grocery workers across New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.
“UFCW local unions worked with ShopRite to provide temporary hazard pay at the start of the pandemic and when that pay raise expired, these courageous grocery workers came together again to reach a new agreement with ShopRite on hazard pay as this crisis continues.
“Today, UFCW grocery workers are sending a clear message to supermarket chains across the country that this pandemic is far from over, and every CEO must do the right thing by providing the hazard pay that these brave essential workers have earned and deserve as the threat from COVID-19 continues.”
Today’s new UFCW agreement for ShopRite hazard pay is another powerful victory for grocery workers and increases pressure on national grocery chains to do the right thing and provide additional hazard pay to their workers as they continue serving on the frontlines of the pandemic.
Across the region, UFCW represents over 52,000 New Jersey workers, over 74,000 New York workers, and nearly 13,000 Connecticut workers.
The new UFCW agreement with ShopRite announced today includes the following:
- Nearly 50,000 union ShopRite grocery employees represented by UFCW and RWDSU, will receive retroactive premium pay for this past summer
- Retroactive premium pay will be provided to each employee in the form of lump sum payments equal to one dollar ($1.00) per hour for all hours worked between July 26 and August 22.
- In the case of future COVID-19 outbreaks resulting in government orders closing all businesses, except essential businesses, ShopRite has agreed to meet UFCW and RWDSU local unions to discuss additional hazard pay.
- Additionally, ShopRite has agreed to observe a moment of silence on Workers Memorial Day and Labor Day each year, starting in 2021, to recognize frontline workers lost to COVID-19 and the collective strength union membership has provided to its employees.
UFCW International and UFCW Locals have been negotiating with employers across the country this year to recognize how hard grocery workers are working to provide necessary food and supplies to their communities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
In September 2020, UFCW launched a national campaign to restore hazard pay for America’s 3 million grocery workers still on the frontlines of this pandemic. Just weeks after launching the campaign, UFCW announced a new hazard pay agreement for 56,000 Stop & Shop grocery workers across New England, New York, and New Jersey. Additionally, UFCW Local 663 secured a hazard pay deal for Minnesota grocery workers.
UFCW is committed to ensuring that every American frontline worker receives the hazard pay they have earned and will continue to pressure retailers across the country to do right by these brave men and women keeping our communities strong.
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.