For weeks, Local 400 has urged the governors of all states in our jurisdiction, as well as D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, to designate our members as “first responders,” a move that would provide priority Coronavirus testing and free child care. Now, Giant and Safeway are joining us in this critical fight.

Safeway Eastern Division President Tom Lofland wrote Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, calling on them to make this vital move. Giant Interim President Ira Kress wrote a similar letter to Gov. Northam.

 “Grocery workers’ service to our communities is absolutely essential during this time,” Lofland wrote. “Just as we protect first responders and healthcare professionals, we must also protect Safeway employees.”

“While so many in our communities were ordered to shelter in place with their families, our associates answered the call to leave their loved ones every day, so that we can continue to provide a vital service to our neighbors,” Kress wrote. “I will do everything I can to support our associates. I believe extending government benefits to grocery workers will help during this crisis.”

“We appreciate the fact that our employers are working with us to gain first responder status for our members,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “We will not rest until every member has access to testing, free child care, and full personal protective equipment. No one should risk their health for their job and it’s past time our elected officials acted accordingly.”