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UFCW: Health and Economic Well-Being of American Workers Must be Protected Amidst Coronavirus

March 11, 2020 Updated: August 24, 2020

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Calls on White House and Congress for Immediate Action to Protect Workers and Address Economic Impact of Coronavirus 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), is calling for immediate action by our nation’s elected leaders to develop and implement policies to ensure that workers – salaried and hourly – do not have to choose between their health and making ends meet. In a letter to elected leaders UFCW President Marc Perrone said the following:

“Nearly 80 million American workers – or 59 percent of the entire U.S. workforce – are hourly employees who only get paid for the hours they work. As the financial impact of the coronavirus is felt across every community, these hard-working men and women are on the front lines.

“I am urging each of our nation’s elected leaders to develop immediate policies that ensure that workers – salaried and hourly – do not have to choose between work and their health. These policies should not only protect workers against financial loss (from loss of hours or job loss), but should further ensure that workers seek out immediate medical attention if they feel sick or believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus.

“Now, more than ever, it is time that we all focus on what matters most – protecting our families, our communities, and this nation.”


Top policy priorities UFCW is calling on elected leaders to consider as part of any package to address the economic impact of the coronavirus include:

  • At least two weeks of paid sick leave for all workers;
  • Extension of unemployment benefits for workers temporarily laid off or whose work hours have been disrupted;
  • Payroll tax cuts for all lower- and middle-income workers; and
  • Protection against unfair termination or discrimination for those suspected of being exposed to the coronavirus.


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.


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