On April 22, the UFCW applauded President Biden’s new vaccine tax credit for small businesses to provide paid time off to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and joined the White House in calling on all frontline employers to guarantee paid leave for their essential workers to get the vaccine.
According to new UFCW estimates, there have already been at least 456 frontline worker COVID-19 deaths among our members nationwide and at least 91,400 frontline workers have been infected or exposed to the virus. In the grocery industry, 178 members have died from COVID-19 and at least 39,900 members have been infected or exposed to the virus. Additionally, the UFCW reports a national 30 percent spike in COVID-19 deaths of grocery workers and 24 percent increase in grocery workers infected or exposed to the virus since March 1.
In the meatpacking industry, 132 of our members have died from COVID-19 and 22,200 members have been infected or exposed to the virus. In the food processing industry, there have been 50 COVID-19 deaths and 11,700 members have been infected or exposed to the virus.
“President Biden’s vaccine tax credits for small businesses are a critical step to ensure more of America’s essential workers can get the vaccine without losing a paycheck,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone in a statement. “America’s frontline essential workers in grocery stores and meatpacking plants continue to face some of the highest risks of COVID exposure and the need to strengthen vaccine access has never been more urgent. But too many states are failing to ensure essential food workers have vaccine access as they continue to face barriers with the vaccine eligibility pool expanding.”
“As the union for essential food workers across the country, the UFCW is joining President Biden in calling on all CEOs to guarantee paid leave for their frontline employees to get the vaccine,” Perrone added. “To keep our food supply secure as the pandemic continues, we need action now from every frontline business to eliminate the hurdles these workers face to getting vaccinated.”
Additional information about President Biden’s new vaccine tax credit is available here.