BLOOMINGTON — As measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 intensify, with Calif. Governor Gavin Newsom recommending citizens “shelter in place,” grocery store workers remain the lifeline to the public, going to work every day.

Without special training in public health or disease prevention, stockers, checkers and others who keep the grocery stores open for shoppers are suddenly first responders.

Since shopping — and profits — have surged for grocery retailers like Albertsons, Ralphs, and Vons, grocery workers, through their union, have called for increased pay. In response to the news today that Albertsons and Vons agreed to raise wages temporarily for its Southern California employees by $2 an hour, the Southern California United Food and Commercial Workers Locals released the following statements:

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Joe Duffle

“This global health crisis underscores the essential support to our communities provided by grocery workers, pharmacists, delivery drivers, food processors and others courageously rising to meet the challenges of this outbreak. Increasing pay for those on the frontlines is critical,” said Joe Duffle, President of UFCW Local 1167.

“We are all concerned about keeping our families safe and continuing to pay the rent and care for our kids who are out of school. The stress on grocery workers is incredible. We have been asking the major retailers, who are doubling and tripling their profits right now, to recognize that workers need increased pay, increased safety measures, and more flexible schedules. We are pleased that they are listening to us,” said UFCW Local 1167 member Herman Ortega.

We are in continuing discussions with Stater Bros, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, Rite Aid, and CVS.

Image Sources

  • Joe Duffle: UFCW Local 1167
  • Albertsons: Shutterstock