America’s Largest Food & Retail Union Calls for Unity and Bipartisanship to Aid America’s Essential Workers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million frontline food and retail workers, welcomed the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at this critical point in the pandemic. As COVID-19 cases skyrocket across the country, UFCW is calling on Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work together on President Biden’s agenda to take control of the pandemic and protect essential workers, including more than a million UFCW members on the frontlines in grocery stores, meatpacking plants and other critical jobs keeping Americans safe.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:
“Today is a new day, and all Americans must unite behind President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as they prepare to lead our country through unprecedented challenges.
“Regardless of who any of us voted for, now is the time to heal and bridge our political divisions. We are all Americans first, and we must join together to wish President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris success – for their success will ensure the success of this great nation.
“Looking ahead, with new leadership in the White House, there is new hope for a brighter future for America’s hard-working families, and for the essential workers who have done so much to keep us safe. For the sake of the country we all love, Republicans and Democrats in Congress must come together and immediately focus on moving this nation forward by committing to help those who have suffered, lost and sacrificed so much.
“On behalf of the 1.3 million essential workers we proudly represent, the UFCW stands ready to do our part to help build a safer, better, and more just America.”
UFCW recently announced its support of President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan, which will make critical investments in protecting and supporting America’s essential workers. Key provisions include:
- Call on CEOs to Provide Hazard Pay to Frontline Essential Workers: Biden’s plan calls on employers, especially in grocery and retail, to recognize the risks faced by their essential workers and provide retroactive and ongoing hazard pay to frontline employees.
- Create Strong National Vaccination Program: Biden’s plan invests $20 billion in a national vaccination program in partnership with states. The plan would launch community vaccination centers around the country and deploy mobile vaccination units to hard-to-reach areas. The plan ensures vaccine access is free to all in the United States.
- Establish National COVID-19 Workplace Safety Standard: Biden’s plan calls on Congress to authorize OSHA to issue a COVID-19 Protection Standard that covers a broad set of workers. Biden’s plan calls on Congress to provide additional funding for OSHA enforcement to help keep vulnerable workers healthy and safe from COVID-19.
- Scale Up COVID Testing to Stop the Spread of Virus: Biden’s plan invests $50 billion in a massive expansion of testing, providing funds for the purchase of rapid tests and support to help local governments implement regular testing protocols. Expanded testing will ensure that any American can get a test for free when they need one.
- Provide Expanded Paid Sick and Family and Medical Leave. Biden plan will provide over 14 weeks of paid sick and family and medical leave to help parents with additional caregiving responsibilities when a child or loved one’s school or care center is closed; for people who have or are caring for people with COVID-19 symptoms, or who are quarantining due to exposure; and for people needing to take time to get the vaccine.
Click here to read the full details of President-elect Biden’s COVID relief plan.
The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org