Skip to main content

UFCW 8-Golden State Calls on All Elected Officials and Shoppers To Treat Food and Drug Workers as First Responders

Hardworking Union Members Praised as Heroes on Front Lines for Communities

ROSEVILLE, CALIF. (March 18, 2020) — Jacques Loveall, president of UFCW 8-Golden State, has called on all elected officials and shoppers to treat food and drug workers as first responders in light of the current global health crisis.

Union leaders are also asking the public to give food and drug store workers “the gratitude, kindness and patience they deserve” during the ongoing health emergency.

Noting “our public institutions are shutting down as we engage in a monumental struggle to save lives from a microscopic contagion,” Loveall said “the major exception happens to be the oldest gathering place in human civilization: the market.”

“Everyone needs food, medicine and other basic necessities to survive and function, so those who keep it going deserve respect and kindness now more than ever,” Loveall said.

“UFCW 8-Golden State represents tens of thousands of workers in supermarkets and drug stores in California”, Loveall explained. “We are keenly aware of the pressures felt by members who deal with panicked shoppers and struggle to restock shelves stripped bare of staples like water, soup, rice, cereal, diapers, baby formula and toilet paper.”

“These workers are heroes on the front lines, doing all they can to ensure we have access to the food, medicine and essential goods we need,” he said.

“In addition, we are vigorously advocating for the safety of our members and the general public. These measures include:

  • regular breaks so workers can properly clean their hands;
  • hazard compensation;
  • gloves and masks where necessary;
  • first-day sick leave;
  • shorter business hours to allow adequate store cleanings, restocking and resets.

“Day after day, our members loyally go to work in crowded spaces, in spite of the potential risks to their own wellbeing during this public health crisis. Many of them have extra childcare needs because the schools are closed along with other burdens such as caring for elderly loved ones.”

Loveall added: “As true professionals, they do their jobs to the best of their ability and with smiles on their faces. Please take a moment to appreciate these workers as they fulfill the vital needs of our communities.”