UFCW Launches National Hazard Pay Campaign

On Sept. 1, the UFCW launched a new national campaign to restore hazard pay for millions of America’s frontline workers. The new campaign is calling on the country’s leading grocery companies — including Whole Foods, Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Ahold — and many other essential businesses, to reinstate hazard pay in light of the continuing human cost being paid by America’s grocery workers and other essential employees during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the first phase of national hazard pay campaign, local unions were involved in at least 26 worker actions that were held at grocery stores and other essential businesses across the country during the week leading up to Labor Day. The actions took place in California, Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, Tennessee, MarylandWest Virginia, and other states hit hard by COVID-19.

Recently, the UFCW confirmed there have been at least 103 grocery worker deaths and over 14,300 grocery workers infected or exposed to COVID-19. As a new investigation by Bloomberg reported, the actual national number of workers who have died, become sick, or been exposed to the virus is likely much higher given that America’s largest food companies have launched an effort to hide the true human cost of this pandemic.

“America’s grocery workers are putting their lives on the line every day that they walk into the store because this pandemic is far from over and the health threats are just as real now as they were when this crisis began,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “It is outrageous that the CEOs of these companies refuse to restore hazard pay even as more of these workers are getting sick and dying every week. Hazard pay for grocery workers must be reinstated now.”

“While top grocery chains rake in billions in profits during this pandemic, these frontline grocery workers continue to put themselves at risk to ensure our families have the food we need,” Perrone added. “As long as the hazard of COVID-19 continues, these companies must do what is right and provide the hazard pay these grocery workers have earned and deserve.”

The new campaign includes targeted paid and digital media to highlight the serious health threats these workers continue to face. The UFCW is also connecting customers and community members with essential workers to call on these businesses to guarantee hazard pay as long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and released first person testimonials from workers on the front lines, as well as customers and local community members, about the importance of hazard pay. To view the first person testimonials, click here.

Read more »

As a Local 919 Member, you can share your story about why hazard pay is important to you

Highlighting the Voices of Our Members to Restore Hazard Pay

The UFCW is working with locals across the country to amplify the voices of our members about the importance of restoring hazard pay for frontline workers as COVID-19 cases continue to climb nationwide.

The UFCW’s Communications Department, in partnership with dozens of locals, is assembling a collection of videos of members who are sharing their stories about how the pandemic has affected them and why hazard pay is so important to the well-being of essential workers. This video collection will be used on social media to engage customers and community members on the importance of hazard pay for essential workers during a national week of action beginning on August 31 and leading up to Labor Day.

Members are eager to tell their stories about the risks they are taking to serve their communities during this pandemic and what hazard pay means to them and their families.

“My responsibilities include bagging groceries and sanitizing all the carts in the whole store and making sure everyone is happy with the cart they got and that it’s well cleaned and safe for people to touch,” said Hasseim Waldron, a member of UFCW Local 324 who works at Albertsons. “I believe hazard pay would be a very great incentive and a great reward for our responsibilities as essential workers because we’re on the front lines and making the customers happy and the pay would reward the risk we take.”

“Hazard pay is important to me because I have a three-year-old daughter and I don’t want to bring anything home to her,” said Ebony Spicer, who is a member of UFCW Local 770 and works at Food 4 Less. “I am risking my life every day going out into the world….I believe Kroger, as well as all the other companies, should show their employees the utmost appreciation and respect and give us hazard pay.”

“Hazard pay is vital for us essential workers,” said Chelsea Brecht, who is a member of UFCW Local 1000. “Every day during the pandemic, we put our lives on the line. For me, personally, I just found out I was pregnant with my first child and that poses a whole new risk for me and my baby….Hazard pay is also a ‘thank you’ to your employees for putting their lives at risk and their families lives at risk when they come to work every day to support and assist our customers.”

You can get more information about the video collection and how to make a video here.

Read more »

Masks are in! Your business agents will be around with masks this week and beyond. If you’d like to mail in a check for masks, please send a check to
UFCW Local 919 Leukemia Fundraiser
6 Hyde Road
Farmington, CT
IMG_20200811_1410379Be sure to send in a return address/store you work in and the number of masks you’d like. ($8 each) Remember: proceeds from the sale of these masks will help fund important leukemia research at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Thank You!

Read more »