Local 5 Reaches Agreement with Safeway to add Protections for Workers During Pandemic Crisis

United Food & Commercial Workers Local 5 and Safeway Stores have negotiated an agreement over a range of new protections and rights for store employees who continue to work during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The agreement addresses growing concerns raised by workers and their union as they respond to the unprecedented new environment impacting shopping patterns at Bay Area grocery stores.

Terms of the deal include:

  • More flexibility for schedules to accommodate childcare along with expanded use of paid sick leave.
  • Up to two weeks of pay for workers who contract the virus or are required to self-quarantine before being required to access sick leave or other paid leave.
  • Understanding around the need to employ temporary additional employees while assuring that existing workers are first offered additional hours including overtime.
  • Implementation of best practice procedures to assure and safe and sanitized environment for employees and customers.
  • $2 an hour Appreciation Pay Premium for all employees for a period of at least two weeks.

“Local 5 members are working around the clock to assure that families have the food and supplies they need. Along with healthcare workers they are truly First Responders during this growing crisis,” said Union President John Nunes.

The UFCW is also pressing state government to mandate a package of regulations that would provide additional paid leave to grocery workers, give them access to free COVID-19 testing and require food retailers to allow them access to regular hand washing, sanitary cleaners and protective gear. The proposal would also mandate sufficient staffing to assure that sanitary conditions are maintained for employees as well as customers.

Contact your local union rep for more questions and please check the local 5 website for updates.