Members and officials from UFCW Locals One, 7, and 1428 attended an event at the White House with President Biden on July 12 to commemorate the passage of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act. This legislation implements several changes to our country’s mental health system, school safety programs, and gun safety laws with the goal of protecting America’s children, keeping our schools safe, and reducing the threat of violence across the country.
The UFCW members who attended the event have experienced or were representing fellow members who have experienced workplace gun violence. In Buffalo, N.Y., UFCW Local One members experienced a horrific, racially-motivated attack at a Tops supermarket in May 2022. UFCW Local 7 members experienced a mass shooting at a King Soopers location in Boulder, Colo., in 2021. Members of UFCW Local 1428 in California have been subjected to a number of gun violence incidents in their workplaces, including a domestic violence event in June 2020 that exhibited the crucial importance of closing the “Boyfriend Loophole,” which the Safer Communities Act accomplishes.
“It was a very powerful event and like President Biden said, this is just a start, which is important for our members who are so exposed and vulnerable,” said UFCW Local 1428 President Mark Ramos. “All they want to do is go to work, serve their community, and provide for their families. Getting killed at work shouldn’t be something they or their families have to worry about.”
The UFCW has been a leading advocate for improving workplace safety in all forms, including actions that can help address gun violence in the workplace. This work includes advocacy for legislation, like the STOP Violence Act, which seeks to directly improve efforts to address workplace gun violence, including active shooter training, and providing resources for UFCW members who have experienced workplace violence.
In June, the UFCW called for a Congressional hearing to address workplace threats and violence. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, UFCW International President Marc Perrone said it was time for: “America’s Congressional leaders to take immediate action to protect these workers from the rising threats of workplace violence, as well as to better understand how to prevent such acts of senseless violence in the future.”
A recording of the White House event is available here.