Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, retail, and other industries, applauded the move by Safeway (which is owned by Albertsons Companies) to provide a two-dollar-per-hour increase in pay for its Indiana grocery workers at Jewel-Osco stores during the coronavirus outbreak.
“After close talks between Safeway and UFCW, the union representing over 1.3 million grocery store and food processing workers, we are proud to support the significant wage increase adopted by Safeway, one of America’s largest supermarket companies,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “Safeway and the UFCW both recognize that grocery store workers are on the frontlines of this crisis. What Safeway did shows real leadership. We hope that this sends a message to every supermarket, grocery store, and food retail employer – union and non-union – across this country that it is time for every company to recognize the sacrifice America’s food workers are making.”
“In ways that we could not even imagine, overnight, our country changed – and as a result it changed the way our teams conduct business,” said Albertsons Co. President & CEO Vivek Sankaran. “I am so proud to say our teams did not skip a step. In our manufacturing plants, distribution centers and in our stores, our associates are working tirelessly to serve our customers. They work every day to keep our communities fed, their pantries and medicine cabinets stocked, and to ensure one less worry on our customers’ minds as we all face this unprecedented pandemic.”
In the past week, UFCW has secured increased pay and benefits for more than 320,000 grocery workers. Yesterday, UFCW announced a 10 percent pay raise and two weeks paid leave for over 70,000 grocery workers with Stop & Shop stores in New England, New York, and New Jersey.
In Washington State, UFCW Local Unions 21, 367, and 1439 announced a deal with Safeway as well as Albertsons and Fred Meyer/QFC grocery stores to provide two weeks of paid leave for these workers, strengthen childcare access, and protect healthcare coverage for any workers who become sick.
In Missouri, UFCW Local Union 655 also secured a deal for local grocery workers 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.
UFCW also recognized Michigan, Minnesota, and Vermont this week for designating their states’ grocery workers as front line responders, expanding access to free childcare as these employees continue to help local families during this crisis.