Local 5 Member Killed in San Jose Safeway Shooting

Local 5 member Manuel Isaac Huizar Cornejo, 24, was shot and killed while on the job as he tried to intervene in a shoplifting incident at San Jose’s Willow Glen Safeway store on June 5.

Huizar Cornejo is the second Local 5 member killed on the job in the span of less than a year and the tragedy follows on the heels of a mass shooting at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo that resulted in the deaths of ten people including six UFCW members last month.

Local 5 President John Nunes expressed condolences to Huizar Cornejo’s family on behalf of the Union’s 30,000 members and called on state and federal lawmakers to “have the courage to stand up to the NRA and take action to reduce the senseless gun violence that continues to take the lives of far too many workers and other innocent victims.”

The UFCW called on Congressional leaders to hold an immediate Congressional hearing on the issue of workplace threats and violence impacting essential workers across America. In a letter to House Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader McCarthy, UFCW President Marc Perrone said:

“Our union has repeatedly worked to protect our members against violence of all kinds in the workplace. Yet, in the face of our nation’s ongoing epidemic of gun violence, it is clear that the American people will continue to be subjected to acts of violence at work, at school, and everywhere throughout our communities if something does not change.

“It is long past time that our nation’s political leadership steps up to prevent more loss of life. As the House of Representatives seeks to move a package of gun safety legislation forward in the coming days, it’s crucial that our leaders hear directly from those who have been impacted by this violence, including from our workers who are facing these risks on the job daily. We must hear their stories, their grief, and their fears.

“Whether it is grocery workers like those in Buffalo or the teachers and staff in Texas, essential workers everywhere have spent these past two years keeping our nation moving forward. They continue to put themselves at risk every day, and the threat of workplace violence only worsens that risk. Now, more than ever, it’s imperative we take the necessary steps to keep our workers and this nation safe.”

In addition to general common sense gun violence legislation recently approved by the House of Representatives, the UFCW supports specific bills around workplace violence that have been introduced in Congress.

The STOP Violence Act would expand an existing program, providing federal funding for preventative security measures at active shooter sites like the Topps Market in Buffalo.

The Safe Workplaces Act would direct the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to conduct a study on threats of violence, including gun violence, in the workplace. Once the study has been completed, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is tasked with developing best practices for employers to keep employees safe from these threats of violence which will be publicly disseminated.