President Wilkinson sent the below letter to all elected officials.  The contents of the letter is as follows:

Grocery workers need your additional help and support. They are nervous about becoming infected and scared that they will bring it home to their families. Grocery stores remain open, and remain a lifeline for your constituents, helping to feed their families as they continue to quarantine. While supermarket management has instituted a number of safety precautions such as plexiglass at the cash registers and signage instructing shoppers to maintain social distancing, a number of shoppers continue to ignore these warnings, getting very close to our workers as they are trying to safely perform their jobs.

All of us need to do what we can to keep supermarket employees healthy. Stores need to remain fully staffed and operative. You are in a position where this message can be broadened. So please, when addressing your constituents at press events, statements and on social media, stress to shoppers the importance of taking these precautionary measures to ensure the safety of supermarket workers and of course their own:

  • PHYSICALLY DISTANCING – MORE THAN SIX FEET FROM SUPERMARKET EMPLOYEES AND FROM FELLOW SHOPPERS. GIVE THEM ROOM TO GET THE PRODUCT ON THE SHELVES AND WHILE YOU ARE CHECKING OUT.
  • Whenever possible send only one family member to the store at a time.
  • Use credit cards instead of cash whenever possible and wipe down your card and phone before and after yourshopping trip.
  • Limit contact – Do your best not to touch any surfaces, and bring your own disinfecting wipes to disinfect touchpoints.
  • If you choose to wear gloves, be sure to dispose of them in a trash receptacle upon leaving the store.Thank you so much for helping us get this very important message out to shoppers. Together, it is my hope that we can keep as many people safe and healthy as possible.

     

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.