WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, retail, and other industries, applauded Stop & Shop for giving all union Stop & Shop and Peapod employees represented by the UFCW a ten percent increase in pay during the coronavirus outbreak. Workers will also receive two additional weeks of paid leave if they become sick.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“After discussions between Stop & Shop and the UFCW, Stop & Shop is announcing a 10 percent raise and additional sick leave for grocery workers during the coronavirus pandemic. This essential pay and benefit increase will not only protect these hard-working men and women, it will help protect the food supply throughout our communities.

“As we know, grocery workers like Stop & Shop employees have been on the front lines of this crisis, serving the needs of millions of families in the northeast. Protecting them is absolutely essential to our communities and food supply now more than ever.

“Every supermarket, grocery store, and food retail employer – union and non-union – in the Northeast and across America must follow the example that Stop & Shop has set and follow their lead.”

Background:

UFCW International and UFCW Locals have been negotiating with employers across the country to recognize how hard grocery workers are working to provide necessary food and supplies to their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • UFCW and Safeway announced that Safeway would provide a two-dollar-per-hour increase in pay for its grocery workers across the country during the outbreak.
  • In California, UFCW Locals applauded Stater Bros. Markets for implementing a $2.00-per-hour pay raise to its workers. The raise will apply to all hourly employees over the course of four weeks beginning March 23.
  • In Missouri, UFCW Local Union 655 secured a deal for grocery workers at Schnucks, Dierbergs, and Straubs to waive all co-pays for coronavirus testing, maintain pay for those who become sick, and expand access to telemedicine with zero out-of-pocket costs.

Dear UFCW Members:

Let me begin by sincerely thanking you—and all our members—for everything you are doing to help your customers, our community, and your country through this unprecedented health crisis. You are on the frontlines of this crisis, and you are proving how invaluable your work is, and the vital role our union members play in times like these.

Please know that your Local 371 UFCW family is here for you during these difficult and challenging times. You are not alone. We are one union family, and we are in this together.

To help you and all our members, we have mobilized our emergency operations to ensure that member concerns and services are being addressed as quickly as possible. In addition, we will be providing you with regular updates, such as those noted below, on what actions your local union and the International are taking to protect all of our members.

Among the actions we wanted you to know about include:

  • Working with state and federal leaders to develop immediate policies that will protect members’ personal and economic health. Specifically, both the local union and International union are working with elected leaders to ensure that any new local, state, and federal policies to address the coronavirus pandemic also address the essential concerns of UFCW members.
  • The local union and International union are having ongoing discussions with management and your employers about the steps they are taking (and should take) to protect your job, pay and benefits. These discussions include additional steps they need to take to protect co-workers from any workplace exposure to the coronavirus, as well as address concerns our members have raised.
  • To ensure that the critical work you are doing is recognized and protected, we are working at the state and federal level to designate our grocery retail, health, and food processing members as “first responders.” This designation, we believe, will provide immediate access to testing and additional protections necessary to do your vital jobs.
  • To ensure that all our members are aware of any critical updates about this coronavirus pandemic, we are asking you to please text “Prepared” to 83071. These alerts will provide you invaluable updates throughout this crisis, so we will be encouraging all of our members to sign up as quickly as possible.
  • To make you aware of the protective measures recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), we will be posting key information on our local union and International union websites.
  • To help ensure your safety, we are strongly encouraging all of our members to reach out to us at (203) 226-4751 or directly to their union representatives if they have any workplace concerns about their personal health or workplace safety. It is essential that we hear of these concerns from you so we can address them with your employer as quickly as possible.

With respect to your health, and the health of your loved ones, it is essential that we all take smart steps to protect ourselves. For example, if you show any symptoms of the coronavirus, which include fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, you should immediately call your healthcare provider. To find out additional information of what you can and should do to protect yourself, please visit CDC.gov.

On a more personal level, I know that these are incredibly stressful days for you and all members of our union family. During such trying moments, we want you to know that your union will be here for you. As difficult as the days ahead may be, we will get through this together.

Thank you again for all the work you are doing, and please do not forget to sign up for text alerts by texting “Prepared” to 83071.

Stay safe,

 

Sincerely and fraternally,

Thomas A. Wilkinson

International Vice President

President, UFCW 371

In the interest of safety, President Wilkinson has cancelled all area meetings originally scheduled for tomorrow, 3/16.  If you or one of your coworkers has a concern, please contact our office at 203-226-4751 or your union representative directly.