First and foremost, I hope you are well. It has been a very turbulent time and I want you to know that my every day is dominated by thoughts and actions I can take to protect you. As I carefully monitor vaccination availability and eligibility, I continue to push for grocery workers, and all 876 members to be prioritized. This continues to be my goal going into 2021.
Two things go into reaching goals, hard work and who you align yourself with during the process. I tell you this because during this onslaught of pandemic proportions, the 876 staff has worked tirelessly in pushing for member protections. If you follow our medias, and I hope you do, you have witnessed this incredible journey. It has been one, full, calendar year, with 876 in a constant state of making movement and laying the groundwork for the next foreseeable hurdle - which turns out to be vaccinations.
We all know it's not a perfect world and we don't win every fight. But 876 showed up to every match. The progress we did make could only be advanced through the people who have the power to make legislative movement. We can stomp our feet and call out injustice all day long; but without the power of legislation that protects workers, safety and health protocols are not taken seriously. They are expensive to implement and maintain. Enforcement sometimes must be required by law.
That is why the Active Ballot Club (A.B.C.) is an important part of what UFCW does to facilitate real protections for retail grocery, meatpacking and food processing plant members, to name a few. It funds both community and state legislative leaders who are pushing for hazard pay, vaccination access, workplace safety, affordable healthcare, and the repeal of right to work. All of these things require their action, and we need to all support these efforts to make change. Please consider signing up for this important program at bit.ly/Local876ABC.
Efforts to discuss 876 member's continued risk during COVID-19 has been inserted into the conversations of legislative and community leaders and has led to some county health departments to take preregistrations and appointment requests from 876 members. Although this is great news, we would have 81 remaining counties to approach using this county-by-county model. As we continue to extinguish every opportunity, we are once again planning ahead. Our next goal is to conduct 876 member-only vaccination days at the union hall and at other locations across the state once the vaccine becomes more readily available. I am not sure what this will look like logistically, or when the timeline may be; but be assured that details will be shared immediately with you.
I also wanted to send out a sincere thank you to Steward Nation, who have been so instrumental in being the eyes and ears of the union in their workplaces, making our efforts more effective and targeted. I so appreciate your time, your phone calls and your efforts. I am looking forward to seeing everyone in June for the Annual Steward Conferences, all dates and details at here at ufcw876.org.
Together we can do this!
UFCW 876 President