During the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests in response to the killing of George Floyd, working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities. In our new Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.
In a press conference on Thursday, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) announced that 238 UFCW members have died from COVID-19 and nearly 29,000 workers have been infected or exposed to the coronavirus over the past 100 days.
The union announced it would take action on three key priorities to protect and help workers during the pandemic:
- Reinstating hazard pay and establishing a $15-per-hour minimum wage for all front-line workers.
- Establishing a public mask mandate in all 50 states.
- Creating a new national public registry to track COVID-19 infections in front-line workers and require companies with more than 1,000 employees to submit monthly reports on their worker deaths, infections and exposures.
International President Marc Perrone said, “With our country now 100 days into the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s front-line workers still face many of the same dangers they faced on day one. In grocery stores, meatpacking plants and health care facilities, our country’s front-line workers are still getting sick and dying. It’s high time for America’s CEOs and elected leaders to pull their heads out of the sand and take the strong action needed to protect these brave workers and the communities they serve.”