Union for 11,500 Wisconsin Frontline Workers Joins Senator Baldwin in Call for Congress to Approve Budget and Infrastructure Plan to Strengthen Wisconsin Economy
MILWAUKEE, WI – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the union for over 11,500 Wisconsin essential workers in meatpacking, food processing, and other frontline industries, announced that U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined a virtual roundtable with Wisconsin workers calling on Congress to pass President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda and highlighting how it helps Wisconsin working families.
Wisconsin frontline workers at the roundtable are union members of UFCW Local 1473 in Milwaukee.Wisconsin workers urged Congress to pass Biden’s plan to create good Wisconsin jobs and address issues like paid sick leave, the Child Tax Credit, and protecting the right of workers to unionize for better working conditions as the pandemic continues.
VIDEO: Click here for a video of the Wisconsin worker roundtable.
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin: “Our Build Back Better Budget is focused on lowering costs for families and creating jobs. This legislation is focused on the economic security of working families and moving our economy forward. United Food and Commercial Worker members have been on the front lines this whole pandemic and you essential workers have not been treated as essential. I hope that stops now, as we begin our work to Build Back Better. I will continue pressing for workplace safety and fairness moving forward, and my door is always open.”
Ramsses Lopez, a OSI worker in Fort Atkinson and member of UFCW Local 1473: “I recently became a parent for the first time to my precious daughter, Emery. Earlier this year, Congress passed the Child Tax Credit which provides up to $3,600 for families with children. This funding allows my family to make sure that we have everything we need to take care of our daughter, from nutritious food to clothing. If this middle-class tax cut could be extended, that would make a big impact on so many working families’ lives, including mine. Congress should make the Child Tax Credit permanent to help all Wisconsin working families.”
Emmett Cannon, a Hormel Foods plant worker in Beloit and member of UFCW Local 1473: “Working on the frontline in food production has been difficult throughout the pandemic and this pandemic is not over. We wear masks and face shields; we socially distance as much as possible; we have sanitation stations. With my union’s support, we were able to negotiate with Hormel to provide these safety measures to help slow down the spread of COVID-19 in our plant. It is heartbreaking knowing that other food production plants that are not unionized won’t get this opportunity. I am asking Congress to ensure that the final budget reconciliation bill strengthens the right of Wisconsin workers to unionize.”
Elaine McCarty, a cake decorator at Metro Market in Brookfield and member of UFCW Local 1473: “My coworkers and I have shown up to work every day throughout the pandemic not knowing if the customer we are helping is COVID positive or vaccinated. In all honesty, I come to work every day to serve our community while being afraid of catching COVID-19 and passing it on to any of my 13 grandchildren. I know that many of my coworkers feel the stress I am feeling every day and we’re all continuing to deal with more out-of-pocket expenses because of the pandemic. I hope Congress does the right thing by passing the grant program for food workers to help us with the continued expenses we have had during the pandemic.”
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) has been a leading voice for Wisconsin essential workers in meatpacking plants, food processing facilities, and many more frontline businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. UFCW has helped to enact policies like the Child Tax Credit and strengthened pay and protections for essential workers across Wisconsin.
COVID WORKER IMPACT: UFCW recently confirmed that the COVID-19 Delta surge continues to impact essential workers in Ohio and across the country. Among the union’s members nationwide, there have now been at least:
- 483 frontline worker deaths and at least 93, 900 frontline workers infected or exposed
- 198 grocery worker deaths and at least 43,900 grocery workers infected or exposed
- 132 meatpacking worker deaths and 22,400 meatpacking workers infected or exposed
- 67 food processing worker deaths and 13,100 food processing workers infected or exposed
United Food and Commercial Workers is the union for over 11,500 Wisconsin essential workers in food processing, meatpacking plants, and other frontline industries. To learn more about UFCW, go to www.ufcw.org/about.