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UFCW Statement on Biden’s American Jobs Plan

March 31, 2021 Updated: April 6, 2021

President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris

Union for 1.3 Million Food and Retail Workers on Frontlines of Pandemic Calls Biden Plan Strong Step to Put Power Back in Hands of American Workers, Create the Good Paying Union Jobs Needed for Economic Recovery

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million frontline workers in food and retail, applauded President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan, which will invest in badly needed infrastructure like public transportation and roads – so workers can get to work safely, increase investment in pre-apprentice and apprentice programs that build job opportunities in every community, and create good-paying union jobs vital to a strong economic recovery for every American. 

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement: 

“President Biden’s American Jobs Plan is a strong investment in our country’s infrastructure that has been neglected for years to provide corporate tax breaks for companies exporting jobs overseas. This plan puts American workers on a level playing field and invests in our communities rather than offshore tax-havens for billionaires.

“America’s frontline essential workers in grocery stores and meatpacking plants need action now to protect them as they put their health at risk on the frontlines of this pandemic. President Biden’s plan puts power back in workers’ hands by restoring protections enabling workers to exercise their right to join a union and negotiate for higher wages, better benefits, a secure retirement, and the safer workplaces they need.

“UFCW is calling on Congress to quickly pass the American Jobs Plan and send it to President Biden’s desk for his signature so that we can deliver the critical assistance these workers need.”

BACKGROUND

UFCW has been a leading national voice for essential workers in grocery stores and meatpacking plants who are still facing the daily threat of COVID-19 exposure on the frontlines of this pandemic. UFCW praised President Biden’s American Jobs Plan for the support it provides to these essential workers, including provisions that would:

  • Create good quality jobs that pay prevailing wages in safe and healthy workplaces
  • Ensure workers have a free and fair choice to organize, join a union, and bargain collectively with their employers 
  • Increase unionization across the economy, helping to improve worker productivity and strengthen economic growth
  • Invest in workforce development programs to help underserved groups and prepare students for good-paying career paths before they graduate from high school

Click here to learn more about the American Jobs Plan and the support it provides to essential workers across the country.

NEW COVID NUMBERS: UFCW confirmed today that among the union’s members nationwide there have already been at least 423 frontline worker deaths and at least 83,200 frontline workers infected or exposed. In this group of workers impacted, UFCW reports there have been: 

  • 158 grocery worker deaths and at least 35,100 grocery workers infected or exposed 
  • 132 meatpacking worker deaths and 22,000 meatpacking workers infected or exposed

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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 ufcw.org