San Diego Union Calls for Action in Support of Grocery, Pharmacy and Other Healthcare and Retail Workers

by on March 27, 2020 · 5 comments

in Health, Labor, San Diego

UFCW Local 135 demands that their essential members be designated as emergency frontline personnel in the state of California.

Working long hours and exposed to large volumes of customers and patients, essential retail store workers, and pharmacy and other healthcare professionals are unsung heroes on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, leadership from the state, county, and cities in San Diego, must do everything in their power to support and protect them.

UFCW Local 135 calls on the state of California to designate their essential members as emergency frontline personnel. This must include, at a minimum:

  • Right to wash their hands every 30 minutes, or as needed
  • Right to personal protection equipment (gloves and masks)
  • Institution of plexiglass at check stands and pharmacy counters
  • Access to sanitizers and increased sanitation activity
  • Customer crowd control and security guards
  • Standardized and limited operating hours for all grocery and drug stores (to allow for sanitation)
  • Right to free COVID-19 testing
  • 14 days of additional sick days for workers impacted by COVID-19
  • Right to paid childcare.
  • Workers need certainty that they will continue to get extra “Appreciation Pay” for their extraordinary service throughout the crisis.

While most Californians are staying at home, store and healthcare workers remain the lifeline to the public, going to work every day. Yet, they do so at an increased risk of infection. Union members at Kaiser Permanente, CVS, Rite Aid, Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, Stater Bros, Gelson’s, and Keil’s deserve the protections necessary to continue serving the greater good.

As we see an increasing number of the public getting sick, our communities and all essential workers require that these infectious disease guidelines be immediately implemented.

We know there are many demands upon the governor and local jurisdictions, but essential retail, pharmacy, and other health care workers are a critical link in our food and healthcare supply chain. California must enact an emergency order now in order to protect them and our communities.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 135, has a membership of over 12,000 workers and nearly 7000 retirees throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties. They consist of workers in various fields including grocery & retail, health, pharmacy & dental, meat & sugar processing, casino, and cannabis.



{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rufus March 30, 2020 at 6:25 am

Looks like the UFCW is not letting this crisis go to waste!

Next thing they’ll be asking for is battle pay, but only for the union workers.


Frank Gormlie March 30, 2020 at 10:41 am

Yeah! Those damn unions! They only brought us the 8-hour work day and paid sick days. Damn them!


Geoff Page March 30, 2020 at 3:37 pm

Yea, well maybe those workers who have been fooled into thinking the businesses will take care of them will take note at how much better off union workers are. Back when I started out, the union pay scale was the benchmark for the non-union companies if they wanted to attract real talent. The demise in union membership is directly proportional to the demise in wages for non-union folks. And to the rise in wealth of the very few. When I see t-rump rousing crowds of working people against unions, I just shake my head at the level of ignorance in this country.


Bob Edwards March 30, 2020 at 8:49 am

All of the things requested by the union are to protect the workers and, ultimately, the customers during this crises. Those workers are exposed minute by minute to a disease potentially fatal to themselves and their families. You’re a selfish, negative person, Rufus.


retired botanist March 30, 2020 at 2:52 pm

Yep, gotta say, Rufus, that is, hopefully, an unwelcome comment in this current landscape. Nevermind the fact that these workers are suffering the hoarders, the bullshitters, the elites, the covid-naysayers, and a host of other unpleasant daily exposures…these people are the ones trying to make sure you have your toilet paper, your prescriptions, your eggs, your gasoline and all the other 1st world products!
So. Come to the table. They are front-liners, just like doctors. And the only advocate they have is the union. My heart goes out to those in similar employment positions who DON’T have much of an advocate right now. And a $1,200 check isn’t going to do them much good in the months ahead.
The biggest shortage? Compassion!


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