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.
Sincerely and fraternally,
Thomas A. Wilkinson
International Vice President
President, UFCW 371