San Diego Union Calls for Action in Support of Grocery, Pharmacy and Other Healthcare and Retail Workers
UFCW Local 135 demands that their essential members be designated as emergency frontline personnel in the state of California
SAN DIEGO – 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.
Our 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.