America’s Largest Food and Retail Union Urges USDA to Prioritize a Series of Critical Safety Actions, including Testing and Personal Protection Equipment for All Meatpacking and Food Workers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents more than 250,000 meatpacking and food processing workers across the country, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) calling on Secretary Sonny Perdue to take a series of immediate actions to protect meatpacking workers and our nation’s food supply.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:
“America’s meatpacking workers have been on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic from the beginning, working tirelessly to make sure families have the food they need during this crisis. These brave men and women are providing an essential service despite enormous risk to their own health and the health of their families. Every day, these workers are not only putting their lives on the line to protect our nation’s food supply, they continue to work in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable.
“The threat these workers face during this outbreak is real and their safety concerns must be addressed immediately. At least six of our own members in meatpacking facilities have tragically passed away and hundreds more have been impacted by this ongoing pandemic. All across the country, we are witnessing meatpacking facilities having to close down, endangering our food supply at the worst possible moment.
“For the sake of these workers and our nation, it is clear that more must be done now. We are urgently calling on Secretary Perdue to adopt a series of safety actions and enact immediate guidelines to protect these essential workers which, in turn, will protect our communities and this nation’s food supply.”
Today’s UFCW letter calls on the USDA to take five immediate steps to protect meatpacking workers from the Coronavirus:
The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops, and other industries.
Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.