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UFCW 8-Golden State President Lauds Gov. Newsom for Classifying Food and Drug Workers as Essential on Frontlines

Workers will receive two weeks paid sick leave if sickened by or exposed to COVID-19

ROSEVILLE, CALIF. (April 16, 2020) — UFCW 8-Golden State President Jacques Loveall praised today’s action by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to classify the state’s 500,000 food and drug workers as essential frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are proud of the work we’ve done with the governor’s office and the food industry to craft an expansion to workers’ protections,” President Loveall said. “Today’s declaration by the governor is an important element in our proposals.”

“The scope and inclusiveness of all aspects of the food chain is critical to the safety of California workers and the public alike and is further evidence of the governor’s vision and commitment to blunting the impact of COVID-19,” Loveall said.

Following are highlights of new protections for food and drug workers during the current crisis:

  • Two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave for workers who have contracted the virus or who have been exposed to it and are in quarantine;
  • Priority access to childcare and eldercare, where available, or a subsidy to ensure they can provide their valuable services while keeping their loved ones safe;
  • Breaks allowing sufficient time to wash their hands with the appropriate materials as well as sufficient supplies to keep work sites clean and sanitized;
  • Proper training and adequate supplies of protective gear, including masks and gloves;

“These workers are heroes who serve on the front lines of this crisis,” Loveall said. “They do all they can to ensure we have access to the food, medicine and essential goods we need. Protecting their health and the health of their families is our number one priority.”

UFCW 8-Golden State represents approximately 35,000 members in supermarkets, drug stores, food processing plants, wineries, distilleries, cannabis facilities, medical offices