Safeway and its union have agreed to increased pay and protections for store employees during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The agreement, according to United Food & Commercial Workers Local 5, includes a $2 an hour raise for all employees for a period of at least two weeks, along with more flexibility for schedules to accommodate childcare along with expanded use of paid sick leave. The deal also includes 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. Also, it provides existing workers first dibs at overtime hours over temporary workers, and requires best practices for safe, sanitized workplace environments, according to the union.
“Local 5 members are working around the clock to assure that families have the food and supplies they need,” Union President John Nunes said. “Along with healthcare workers they are truly First Responders during this growing crisis.”
The UFCW is also pressing state government to pass regulations providing additional paid leave to grocery workers, free access to COVID-19 testing and measures promoting optimal sanitation.
Photo credit: Safeway.com