Photo credit: UFCW
UNI Global Union affiliate, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) has secured a major win for nearly 50,000 essential workers at ShopRite supermarkets in the US with a new agreement for hazard pay.
The deal, which was announced on the eve of Thanksgiving and ahead of the busy holiday season, recognizes the risks grocery workers continue to face during the coronavirus pandemic. It applies to ShopRite workers at stores in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut and also includes retroactive hazard pay for hours worked between 26 July and 22 August.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone said:
“Grocery workers have been on the frontlines since this pandemic began and continue to put themselves in harm’s way to help families put food on this Thanksgiving. This new UFCW agreement is a powerful victory for ShopRite grocery workers across New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.
“UFCW grocery workers are sending a clear message to supermarket chains across the country that this pandemic is far from over, and every CEO must do the right thing by providing the hazard pay that these brave essential workers have earned and deserve as the threat from COVID-19 continues.”
UFCW, which represents 1.3 million food and retail workers in the US, has had among its members at least 109 grocery worker deaths due to COVID-19, while 17,400 grocery workers have been infected or exposed to the virus.
UNI General Secretary, Christy Hoffman, said:
“We give our wholehearted congratulations to UFCW on this major victory for frontline grocery workers in the US. Hazard pay doesn’t take away the risks but it does, at least, show appreciation for the immense service these essential workers are carrying out for the benefit of us all, especially at this busy time of year.”
In order to demand wages with dignity, safe workplaces, union representation, and other essential rights, like hazard pay, for essential workers worldwide, UNI launched a campaign to re-value the work of cleaners, security guards, food retail workers and care providers on the World Day of Decent Work in October.