Union for 1.3 Million Food and Retail Workers Continues Successful Push for Hazard Pay As COVID-19 Danger Increases in California
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) – which represents a total of 1.3 million food and retail workers – including over 141,000 California workers – announced a new agreement with Stater Bros. Markets on hazard pay for 18,000 union grocery workers across 170 supermarkets in California. The deal recognizes the ongoing risks Stater Bros. workers have faced as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, temporarily reinstating the company’s $2 per hour hazard pay for its frontline workers as the dangerous surge of COVID-19 cases continues in California and nationwide.
UFCW recently confirmed there have been at least 109 grocery worker deaths and over 17,400 grocery workers infected or exposed since the pandemic began. Today’s deal was reached by Stater Bros. workers, including members of UFCW Local Unions (8GS, 135, 324, 770, 1167, 1428, 1442)
UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:
“California 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 the table during the holidays. This new UFCW agreement is a powerful victory for 18,000 Stater Bros. grocery workers in California.
“UFCW local unions worked with Stater Bros. to provide temporary hazard pay at the start of the pandemic and these courageous grocery workers have come together once more to reach a new agreement with Stater Bros. reinstating hazard pay as COVID-19 cases skyrocket across California.
“Today, UFCW workers are sending a powerful message to grocery 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 danger from COVID-19 continues.”
Today’s new UFCW agreement to provide hazard pay to Stater Bros. employees 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.
The agreement comes as Los Angeles County set the record this week for the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by county, totaling nearly 450,000 infections, with just over 7,900 deaths. Across the state, UFCW represents over 141,000 California workers.
Key Points on UFCW hazard pay deal for Stater Bros. grocery workers:
- 18,000 union Stater Bros. grocery employees represented by UFCW and Teamsters will have $2 per hour hazard pay reinstated the week of Dec. 6 with a duration of three weeks.
- The reinstated Stater Bros. hazard pay will be provided to hourly frontline workers in the company’s grocery stores as well as those in distribution, transportation and construction operations.
- Today’s Stater Bros. agreement marks the fifth hazard pay extension UFCW has secured with the company for these frontline grocery workers.
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. That was soon followed by a UFCW hazard pay agreement for nearly 50,000 ShopRite grocery workers across the Northeast.
UFCW International and UFCW Locals have been negotiating with employers across the country and are continuing to call on all retailers to do right by these brave essential workers who are keeping our communities strong as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens
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.