On April 14, the UFCW and Kroger Co. called on federal and state government officials to take swift action to designate associates at the company’s grocery stores as “extended first responders” or “emergency personnel.” Both the UFCW and Kroger have been advocating for this designation for the past few weeks.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone and Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen released the following statement:
“Since the onset of this pandemic, Kroger family of companies associates, who are also members of the UFCW, have been working tirelessly to make sure that millions of American families have the fresh food and products they need. As all Americans are now witnessing – grocery workers play a critical role in our communities and they must be protected.
“Working together, Kroger and the UFCW have already taken significant steps to keep Kroger associates safe and reward them for their incredible sacrifices throughout this ongoing crisis. The truth is more must be done and it must be done now.
“Given the significant daily risk these workers face, we are calling on all of our federal and state leaders to take immediate action. Specifically, we are requesting our nation’s leaders to assign a temporary designation of first responder or emergency personnel status for all grocery workers. Make no mistake, this designation is absolutely critical as it will ensure these frontline workers have priority access to personal protection equipment like masks and gloves.
“This urgent call for temporary first responder or emergency personnel status is not just about protecting grocery store workers; it is also about protecting the customers they serve and our nation’s food supply in general.
“We urge our national and statewide elected leaders to act now and protect these essential workers.”
You can read more about the UFCW’s effort to protect our members and the customers they serve here.