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UFCW Calls on Albertsons to Halt Effort to Eliminate Jobs of Essential Grocery Workers Vital to Food Access for Millions Amid COVID Surge

January 5, 2021

Albertsons-Osco in Tempe, AZ

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million frontline workers — including over 141,000 California workers — condemned a new report that Albertsons plans to fire grocery delivery drivers at its Vons and Pavilions stores in California. The news comes as California confronts rapidly spiraling COVID-19 outbreaks across the state with hospitals overwhelmed by virus infections and millions of families relying on these essential grocery drivers to protect access to the food they need during this crisis.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“All across California, Vons and Pavilions grocery workers have been bravely serving on the frontlines since the pandemic began, putting their own health at risk to ensure Californians have the food they need during this crisis. Now, with COVID-19 outbreaks spiraling out of control and overwhelming hospitals across California, it is stunning that Albertsons would fire these courageous and hard-working men and women keeping our food supply secure. 

“For seniors, high-risk individuals, and countless more who are quarantining, Vons and Pavilions grocery delivery drivers have been a trusted and crucial lifeline, providing access to food for some of the most vulnerable Californians. Exploiting the passage of Prop. 22 to destroy the good-paying jobs of these dedicated frontline workers, in the middle of this public health crisis, is simply wrong. 

“As the union for grocery workers across California, UFCW is calling on Albertsons to immediately halt these plans and to put the health of their customers first by protecting the jobs of these brave essential workers at a time when our communities need them most.”

BACKGROUND: 

UFCW has been a leading voice for essential workers during the pandemic, including nearly 1 million grocery workers across the country and over 141,000 California frontline workers.

New COVID Numbers: Today, UFCW confirmed the rapidly growing impact of the pandemic on its frontline food workers, announcing that among the union’s members across the country there have already been at least:

  • 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

UFCW has been leading the push to support grocery workers still on the frontlines. This past month, the union successfully advanced new grocery worker hazard pay measures in Long Beach and Los Angelesthe first cities in the country acting to restore pandemic pay, a critical lifeline for workers and their families. 

This comes amid an explosion in COVID-19 grocery outbreaks with at least 174 grocery worker infections at a single Costco store and additional grocery outbreaks in Los Angeles and Seattle. In recent months, UFCW’s national hazard pay campaign secured new deals helping over 120,000 grocery workers across the country. 

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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