When I was a teenager in high school, I got a job in a grocery store.

I worked for Safeway and then Alpha Beta. Early in my career, I started to get frustrated with my job and considered leaving the industry to pursue other interests. My dad encouraged me to stick with it.

He would regularly remind me: “We might not get rich working in this industry, but we can count on making a living and supporting a family in an honorable profession.”

An honorable profession — what an understatement! None of us could ever  have imagined how true those words would be.

Our members are taking it to the highest level and I’m tremendously honored and proud to represent such fine people. Our union represents thousands of workers who bravely work in supermarkets, drug stores, pharmacies, warehouses and food production plants.

This global health crisis underscores the essential support to our communities provided by these people courageously rising to meet the challenges of this outbreak.

Our members are scared, they’re nervous, they’re stressed out, and yet, they show up to work, day after day, to make sure life’s essentials are accessible to our communities.

They work under extremely stressful conditions trying to assist panicked and irate shoppers many of whom, for some inexplicable reason, are stripping the store shelves bare all the while being rude to each other and to the workers.

I hear the stress in their voices and see the overwhelmed looks in their eyes on a daily basis. What they’re going through is unfathomable.

We ask for the public’s help to keep food and drug store workers safe and healthy when they return to their families at the end of the day. Please try to put yourselves in their shoes.

When you shop, please wear a mask, observe social distancing, and follow store rules.  We urge you to be kind and thank the workers helping you; they are your friends, family and neighbors.

Let’s take care of each other during these challenging times. We’ll get through this together.

Image Sources

  • Stater Bros.: Shutterstock