Let me begin by sincerely thanking you for everything you are doing to help your customers, our community, and your country through this unprecedented health crisis. You are on the frontlines of this crisis, and you are proving how invaluable your work is, and the vital role our union members play in times like these.
Please know that your UFCW Local 400 family is here for you during these difficult and challenging times. You are not alone. We are one union family, and we are in this together.
Your union staff are working non-stop to represent you during this challenging time. We made the decision to close our office for the health and safety of both members and the staff but all of our staff are still working full time and will continue to do so.
As part of this, to assist all of our members, we have mobilized our emergency operations to ensure that member concerns and services are being addressed as quickly as possible. In addition, we will be providing you regular updates, such as those noted below, on what actions your union is taking to protect you.
Among the actions we wanted you to know about include:
- We are available to respond to your questions and concerns as well as to address contract violations. In addition to being able to contact your shop steward and union representative, you can reach someone by calling our office at 301-459-3400 during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). You can also reach us through our website, where, in addition to our normal contact us pages, we have created a special form for you to report health and safety concerns at your workplace.
- We are working with state and federal leaders to develop immediate policies that will protect members’ personal and economic health. Specifically, both UFCW Local 400 and our International union are working with elected leaders to ensure that any new local, state, and federal policies to address the COVID-19 pandemic also address the essential concerns of UFCW members.
- We are having ongoing discussions with management and your employers about the steps they are taking (and should take) to protect your job, pay and benefits. These discussions include additional steps they need to take to protect co-workers from any workplace exposure to COVID-19, as well as address concerns our members have raised.
- To ensure that the critical work you are doing is recognized and protected, we are working at the state and federal level to designate our grocery retail, health, and food processing members as “first responders.” This designation, we believe, will provide immediate access to testing and additional protections necessary to do your vital jobs.
- To ensure that all our members are aware of any critical updates about this coronavirus pandemic, we are asking you to please sign up for text alerts. These alerts will provide you invaluable updates throughout this crisis.
With respect to your health, and the health of your loved ones, it is essential that we all take smart steps to protect ourselves. For example, if you show any symptoms of the coronavirus, which include fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, you should immediately seek medical attention. To find out additional information of what you can and should do to protect yourself, please visit CDC.gov.
On a more personal level, I know that these are incredibly stressful days for you and all members of our union family. During such trying moments, we want you to know that your union will be here for you. As difficult as the days ahead may be, we will get through this together.
Thank you again for all the work you are doing, and please do not forget to sign up for text alerts.
Sincerely and fraternally,
President, UFCW Local 400
Vice President, UFCW International