Traditionally One of the Biggest Grocery Shopping Weekends of the Year, the UFCW Calls on Americans to Take All Necessary Safety Steps When Shopping
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Kroger Co. and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents 1.3 million workers in food and retail, called for customers to exercise caution when grocery shopping for Easter this weekend. Ahead of one of the biggest grocery shopping weekends of the year, the union urges shoppers to stay safe as the coronavirus outbreak continues to put both customers and workers at risk.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:
“As millions of Americans shop for groceries this holiday weekend, we urge all customers to exercise caution as the coronavirus continues to put both shoppers and workers at risk all across the country. Grocery workers are on the front lines of this outbreak and have been working around the clock to make sure families have the food and supplies they need to stay safe.
“To help reduce the spread of this killer virus, it is absolutely critical that all Easter weekend grocery shoppers wear a mask while shopping, practice social distancing throughout the store, safely discard gloves and masks in trash cans, limit the number of trips and shoppers to an absolute minimum, and respect special shopping times for seniors.
“All Americans have a responsibility to help protect these essential workers and their fellow shoppers. Working together, by taking simple safety steps, we can help protect countless lives and keep our nation’s food supply strong.”
With the number of COVID-19 infections for frontline workers increasing, the UFCW sent a letter to the CDC this week calling for mandatory guidance specifically for grocery stores, pharmacies and food processing facilities, during the COVID-19 outbreak.
This week, the UFCW partnered with Albertsons Companies, one of the biggest grocery chains in the country, on a new national campaign to designate grocery workers as first responders to ensure that they have access to the testing, personal protective equipment, and other assistance they need to keep grocery stores open and running during the outbreak.
UFCW International and UFCW local unions across the country have been working with top companies in the grocery and supermarket companies to secure the protections these frontline workers need to stay safe and continue doing this essential work during the pandemic.
Grocery Store Safety Measures:
- Working with Kroger and Safeway/Albertsons, UFCW secured new protective measures for 710,000 grocery workers across the country who work at these stores. These protective measures include:
- Additional Cleaning and Sanitizing protocols which include allowing associates to wash their hands and sanitize their registers every 30 minutes.
- Shortened Store Operating Hours to provide ample time to allow restocking, cleaning, and to provide appropriate rest and relief for associates.
- Installing Plexiglass partitions at check lanes, pharmacy and Starbucks registers across each store.
- Adding Floor Decals to promote physical distancing at check lanes and other counters.
- In Stop & Shop stores across New England, New York, and New Jersey, 70,000 grocery workers received an additional 2 weeks of paid sick leave to ensure they are able to stay safe and healthy on the job.
- Click here to read more about how UFCW is keeping grocery workers and customers safe.
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.