To all UFCW Local 1445 members:
As this coronavirus pandemic continues to affect all of us, we want to keep you updated on what your local and your employers are doing, and should be doing, to keep us safe and to minimize the emotional and economic harm this crisis is causing.
Local 1445 is reaching out to all our employers to ask them to work with us to make sure our members suffer as little as possible, if at all. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, or if you are ordered by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine, or if you are taking care of a family member with this disease, or if your kids’ schools are closed and you must stay home to take care of them, Local 1445 wants your employer to make sure you don’t suffer additionally by not being able to bring home your regular pay check. We are asking all our employers to make sure our members, who have worked so hard to make these companies successful in good times, reciprocate our members’ dedication by making sure their workers don’t suffer during these bad times.
We are also demanding that for our members who are required to report to work, employers make sure their workplaces are safe and these workers are supplied with the equipment they need to keep themselves, and the public and the community-at-large, safe and as contagion-free as possible.
Local 1445 represents such a variety of industries that among our membership are people who are exposed to this virus and the harms it is causing in a myriad of ways. Many members, no matter where they work, are sick and must stay home, or have family members or children who are now at home, or have been laid off or had hours cut. Many of our members are manning positions that are vital to keeping our society going, such as our Stop & Shop workers and our Peapod drivers, and are potentially exposed to this virus as they work in the public domain. And many more of our members are truly on the front lines: in hospitals such as UMass Memorial Medical Center and St. Vincent Hospital, treating the sick and injured, and directly exposed to the coronavirus; also exposed are those working in nursing homes such as Park Place, The Reservoir, Golden Living, Greycliff, and many others throughout the Commonwealth, caring for the sick and elderly; and others are doing backbreaking work in the laundries, such as Angelica Textiles and United Linen, where the dirty and contaminated hospital bedding, gowns, and other linens are shipped to be washed and sanitized and returned for use at the medical facilities that are currently overwhelmed by this pandemic.
Every single member of Local 1445 is playing their part in coping with this emergency, to the best of their ability. Be assured that your local is fighting right along with you and we will do all we can to help every one of us ride out this crisis as safely as possible. Once life is back to normal, we may all have gained an even greater appreciation for how much we owe to all our union sisters and brothers, and for the true union solidarity that even a natural disaster – a pandemic! – can’t destroy.