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President Brian String Issues Letters to Acme Markets and ShopRite Supermarkets – 8/03/2021

President Brian String Issues Letters to Officials at Acme Markets and ShopRite Supermarkets

 

On Tuesday, August 3rd, UFCW Local 152 President Brian String issued letters to officials at Acme Markets and Wakefern Food Corporation (ShopRite Supermarkets) in response to the reintroduction of the mask mandate in “COVID-19 hot zones.” The letters stress the Local’s stance on reinstating pandemic premium pay for members, especially when customers are not forced to follow the same guidelines.

Members can read the official letters here (Acme Markets) and here (ShopRite Supermarkets). You can also read the letters below.

 


 

The following letter was submitted to Acme Markets:

 

Dear Mr. Dosenbach:

Over the last year and a half, UFCW Local 152 members have worked and continue to work on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic which includes workers at Acme Markets across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. These essential workers were initially provided pandemic pay in recognition of the grave risk to their health and wellbeing. As the pandemic appeared to subside, the pandemic premium pay was eliminated.

The Delta Variant of the COVID-19 is currently creating a massive uptick in the spread of this deadly disease. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recently updated mask guidelines in response to the Delta Variant as some people infected with the highly transmissible Delta Variant can spread the virus to others even after being vaccinated. The CDC now recommends that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals wear a mask indoors in public if an area is of substantial or high transmission. Currently, all counties in New Jersey, except Warren County, fall under the substantial or high transmission rate for purposes of the CDC’s indoor mask recommendations. Philadelphia County and the surrounding counties also fall under the substantial or high transmission rate.

We were informed that Acme Markets is now partially complying with the CDC (and NJ DOH) guidance by requiring all employees and vendors to wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. Customers, however, are not required to wear a mask and may shop without a mask even where such individuals are not vaccinated. The failure of Acme Markets to conform to CDC mask recommendations unnecessarily exposes our members and their families to the Delta Variant and is completely unacceptable.

The health and safety of our members has been UFCW Local 152’s top priority throughout the pandemic. To that end, we demand that Acme Markets immediately reinstate pandemic pay and conform to CDC mask recommendations by requiring all customers wear masks. Please contact me to discuss these important issues further.

Sincerely,

Brian String

President

 


 

The following letter was submitted to Wakefern Food Corp. (ShopRite Supermarkets):

 

Over the last year and a half, UFCW Local 152 members have worked and continue to work on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic which includes workers at ShopRite Supermarkets across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. These essential workers were initially provided pandemic pay in recognition of the grave risk to their health and wellbeing. As the pandemic appeared to subside, the pandemic premium pay was eliminated.

The Delta Variant of the COVID-19 is currently creating a massive uptick in the spread of this deadly disease. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recently updated mask guidelines in response to the Delta Variant as some people infected with the highly transmissible Delta Variant can spread the virus to others even after being vaccinated. The CDC now recommends that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals wear a mask indoors in public if an area is of substantial or high transmission. Currently, all counties in New Jersey, except Warren County, fall under the substantial or high transmission rate for purposes of the CDC’s indoor mask recommendations. Philadelphia County and the surrounding counties also fall under the substantial or high transmission rate.

We were informed that ShopRite Supermarkets is now partially complying with the CDC (and NJ DOH) guidance by requiring all employees and vendors to wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. Customers, however, are not required to wear a mask and may shop without a mask even where such individuals are not vaccinated. The failure of ShopRite Supermarkets to conform to CDC mask recommendations unnecessarily exposes our members and their families to the Delta Variant and is completely unacceptable.

The health and safety of our members has been UFCW Local 152’s top priority throughout the pandemic. To that end, we demand that ShopRite Supermarkets immediately reinstate pandemic pay and conform to CDC mask recommendations by requiring all customers wear masks. Please contact me to discuss these important issues further.

Sincerely,

Brian String

President