FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bertha Rodriguez, Bertha.Rodriguez@ufcw770.org, (213) 453-6276
Essential Grocery & Drug Store Workers in Calabasas to be Granted Hazard Pay
The City’s Decision Comes a Few Weeks after the City of Oxnard Passed Gratitude Pay
Calabasas, CA– On June 29th, The Calabasas City Council unanimously voted 5-0 to approve a one-time Hazard Pay bonus for current grocery and drug retail workers in appreciation for their hard work and the greater risks they face as frontline employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Payments of up to $1,000 will be made based on average weekly hours worked from March 2020 to March 2021. The funds come from the American Rescue Plan Act and will benefit a total of 454 union and non-union workers. Roughly 250 of these employees are UFCW Local 770 members.
Throughout the pandemic, grocery and drug store workers have been facing hazardous working conditions that affect their physical and mental health. These essential workers have been tirelessly helping customers to get the food and medications they need.
“I’ve been on the frontlines and I have worked overtime to keep the store stocked. As an essential worker, I put my life at risk multiple times. Too many of us have lost someone due to this terrible virus. A little over a month ago, I lost my uncle to Covid even though he was vaccinated. It’s scary to think that I may bring the virus home to my elderly parents who are both cancer survivors,” says Maria Altamirano who works at a Gelson’s store in Calabasas. “This hazard pay that the city is providing us is a lifeline for essential workers and our families. I’m really grateful that the City of Calabasas council members passed hazard pay. Thank you so much!”
“The City of Calabasas did the right thing. Essential grocery and drug retail workers have demonstrated their commitment and dedication to serve their communities during the worst global pandemic in recent history. We appreciate that the City of Calabasas is moving forward on this gratitude premium pay for our members,” says John Grant, President of UFCW Local 770.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020, grocery and drug retail workers have fought for hazard pay. As a result of these efforts, starting in February of this year, numerous government bodies across California including Los Angeles County (for unincorporated areas) and the cities of Montebello, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, and several other cities, passed mandates granting some type of appreciation pay for grocery and drug store workers.
About UFCW Local 770:
UFCW Local 770 represents over 25,000 grocery and drug retail workers in Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. Overall, the union represents more than 31,000 members in the retail food, retail pharmacy, meatpacking and food processing, laboratory, and cannabis industries.