Albertsons and UFCW Launch Joint Effort To Classify Grocery Workers as First Responders During Coronavirus Outbreak
WASHINGTON, DC - Industry strong. This is the statement that comes to mind when I think of how many sectors of the business are going to bat for each other. In the imperfect and challenging space we are all living in, some retailers are doing their part to address solutions head-on. Albertsons Companies’ stores, including Safeway, ACME Markets, Jewel Osco, Vons, Pavilions, and Albertsons, have joined the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) to announce a joint national effort to seek a temporary designation of “extended first responders” or “emergency personnel” for supermarket associates.
“Since the onset of this pandemic, associates in Albertsons Companies stores, who are also proud members of UFCW union, have been working tirelessly to make sure that America’s families have the food and groceries they need. These men and women are sacrificing every day to protect our nation’s food supply, and now is the time for our leaders in state and federal governments to do the same for them,” Albertsons Companies President and CEO Vivek Sankaran and UFCW International President Marc Perrone shared in a joint statement.
This designation will help ensure that supermarket associates are prioritized for testing and provided personal protection equipment during the coronavirus outbreak, a press release stated.
In addition, the UFCW is going the extra mile in announcing the joint effort in an open letter to our nation’s policymakers and influencers in a full-page advertisement in today’s New York Times.
“The temporary designation of first responder or emergency personnel status would help ensure these incredible grocery workers' access to priority testing, have access to personal protection equipment, like masks and gloves, as well other workplace protections necessary to keep themselves and the customers they serve safe and healthy,” Sankaran and Perrone added in the statement. “This joint action is an example of how all Americans must work together to protect everyone working on the frontlines. This includes not only our brave first responders and healthcare workers but also associates at our nation’s grocery stores who are providing communities with the essential food and supplies needed to weather this public health crisis.”
Together, we can move mountains, and maybe policy. Congrats to these groups on pushing the envelope further!