The UFCW has been working hard to ensure that support for food workers is in the next COVID-19 related stimulus package that Congress finally passes. The HEROES Act, passed by the House of Representatives on May 12, included many of the priorities that the UFCW has been pushing Congress to adopt. The HEROES Act establishes a $200 billion “heroes’ fund” to grant hazard pay to frontline workers, such as grocery store workers. It also proposes a $13 an hour premium pay and a temporary OSHA emergency standard.
UFCW priorities in the next stimulus legislation include:
- Priority testing and presumption of workplace illness for food workers;
- A mandatory, enforceable OSHA workplace safety standard to protect frontline workers from infectious diseases;
- Require food processing and slaughter businesses to slow down the slaughter and processing lines so they can implement social distancing;
- Providing essential worker premium pay for food workers;
- Comprehensive multiemployer pension reform that helps troubled funds without harming healthy funds;
- Expanded access to SNAP with safeguards to support grocery store employees;
- Expanded paid sick days and paid leave to ALL workers; and
- A stimulus package for non-food retail.
“Like other first responders, food workers are on the front lines of this crisis and have been exposed to health hazards, but this is not what they signed up for,” said International Vice President and Director of the Legislative and Political Action Department Ademola Oyefeso. “Congress must protect food workers for their own health and safety.”
Any questions about what the UFCW is doing to protect our members in the next stimulus package should be directed to Rachel Lyons at firstname.lastname@example.org.