On Friday, June 12, UFCW Local 152 President Brian String issued another letter to Acme Markets officials describing the Local’s stance on continuing appreciation pay for members.
“It is with profound sadness and disappointment that I have learned that Albertsons/Acme has decided to end our members’ $2.00/hour “Appreciation Pay.” As you will no doubt recall, I wrote to you previously on May 12, 2020 to encourage Acme to continue providing this crucial benefit to UFCW Local 152 (“Local 152”) members who continued to place their own personal safety, as well as the health and safety of their respective families and loved ones, in jeopardy every single day by coming to work to serve Acme’s customers and maintain the critical food supply chain during this pandemic. They are literally on the “front lines,” which is why they have been deemed “essential” in the eyes of our Local, State and Federal governments. I was thrilled when you agreed to continue that pay in response to my request.
“I am disappointed that Acme is once again considering the elimination of this well-deserved benefit for Local 152 members,” President String writes.
“As we have witnessed this last week, including today, this pandemic is far from over. With the relaxing of stay-at-home orders in many states, we are seeing real dangers in the form of new spikes in the numbers of reported cases of COVID-19 infections throughout the country. Sixteen states – Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Vermont – have seen the number of daily cases rise since Memorial Day after they reopened their respective economies. Washington reported new infections were up 20% statewide since Memorial Day. Just yesterday, Florida reported 1,700 new cases – the highest number of cases reported in a single day since the state’s first cases were discovered in March.
My members will not take their foot off the accelerator in meeting your customers’ demands and maintaining America’s critical food supply chain. Acme has remained open and continued to reap profits as many other businesses, including restaurants, were forced to close during these last three months.
These front line workers deserve a share of Acme’s success for making that success possible and this small token of acknowledgment from Acme should continue until we have won the fight against this deadly virus. I implore you to continue to do the right thing for your associates and my members. I can promise you that you will reap the benefits of it! Please reconsider your actions and do not stop doing a good thing which has been so much appreciated by both my members and myself.”
Acme Markets reportedly plans on ceasing the appreciation pay premium effective Sunday, June 14. UFCW Local 152 believes this decision is unfair and unreasonable. We will continue to update our members as updates come. Please visit our Coronavirus page for all the latest news and updates concerning COVID-19.