We are in an unprecedented time and you are finding yourselves at the frontlines, keeping people fed and calm in the eye of the storm. Without you, our families would not have groceries and medications and we could not follow the recommendations of our state and local leaders.
I know that it is not easy. Many of you have kids at home and are working long hours. We don’t know how long this will go on, but we want you to know that the Southern California UFCW Unions have been negotiating directly with the employers.
Your pay will go up.
Yesterday, Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions agreed to increase workers’ pay by $2 an hour temporarily. Stater Brothers, Gelsons, and Rite Aid have now also agreed to a $2 an hour increase. We have been working with all the employers to acknowledge these difficult financial times for UFCW members.
We know $2 is not nearly enough given the dangers you face and the profits your company is making. But it is just the beginning of a movement to protect retail clerks from the dangers they face as frontline workers.
We are still negotiating with Food 4 Less and Ralph’s, but they are fighting back, offering a bonus instead of a wage increase, despite doubling and tripling their profits in recent weeks. We are confident we will prevail.
Additionally, we are asking for:
- Protective gear, access to handwashing every 30 minutes and clean bathrooms and work stations.
- At least 14 days of immediate paid sick leave while serving on the front lines of the health crisis.
- Emergency designation from the governor. This will allow workers access to childcare, and priority access to coronavirus testing at no expense.
- Increased pay that reflects the great responsibility frontline workers are shouldering.
- Flexible work hours.
- Osha guidelines for retail stores regarding infectious disease.
Getting in touch with the union.
We will be sharing regular updates and resources on Facebook and through tele-town halls.
In this time of crisis the strength of our union is clear. We must work together to make sure all workers have a voice and the ability to stand together and secure a safe and healthy worksite where you are properly compensated for your work.
John M. Grant Kathy Finn
UFCW 770 UFCW 770