Unions Reach Agreement for Grocery Store Employees During COVID-19 Response


Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 Washington state’s United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and the Teamsters 38 have reached an agreement and understanding with Safeway and Albertsons which should protect and better support grocery store employees.

The UFCW 21, 367 and 1439 and Teamsters 38 have agreed upon a resolution that includes — increased schedule flexibility to accommodate child care, up to two weeks of pay for employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or those required to self-quarantine before accessing sick leave or PTO, expanded use of paid sick leave to cover childcare needs, ensuring that employees do not lose medical coverage or vacation accrual while out on sick leave and a joint hiring hall to allow for more employees to get work in the stores, according to a press release from UFCW 21.

The resolution included an agreement to work with state and federal governments to treat grocery store employees as first responders and set up a childcare fund. The Teamsters and the UFCW also agreed to have further discussions about how to meet grocery store employee’s child care needs.

The resolution allows employers to bring in extra help to best serve the community during the COVID-19 crisis but only after the unit employees are offered the hours first— including overtime.

The press release also mentioned that any work performed in the “meat cutter classification” is only to be performed by qualified and licensed individuals.