Although COVID has ushered in a great deal of uncertainty, it has also brought with it innovation and opportunity, with most of us permanently altering our everyday processes and lives. If someone had told me in the beginning of 2020, that 876 would completely reconfigure and reconstruct how we advocate for you, I would not have believed it.
The union, like you, has been rolling with the punches, adapting and developing new ways of getting the job done - and doing it well. That is the spirit of 876, solidarity and progress made in adversity. The mutual support between the union and you has been my strength during this pandemic, and I cannot thank each one of you enough for being flexible, patient and kind.
UFCW 876 and its staff has remained on the frontline, just like you. Early on, 876 was able to catapult many worker issues to the forefront; the right to wear a masks and gloves, hero/hazard pay, cashier shields, customer and vendor distancing, workplace sanitizing, reducing store crowding, mandatory mask wear, and COVID leave and pay. But these small victories were completely dependent upon your support - and you did not disappoint! Many of you really stepped up and represented 876, on television, radio and print.
Our everyday lives, often ignored by the public, were suddenly pushed onto center stage and amplified. They quickly made their way into the national conversation and in turn to the people who write, advocate and enact policy. We were given the opportunity to push for legislative policy that supports worker safety and health and COVID was the vehicle. Everyone clearly recognized your importance in the economy, in our community and in supporting the food chain. COVID has given 876 the opportunity to secure the long-term changes you deserve.
Grocery, meat processing, pharmacy and health care worker’s lives are now positioned in Senate and House committees all over our nation, and 876, along with many others, are moving swiftly on these legislative opportunities. You now have the attention and advocacy of elected officials who are rallying behind you with their voices and support to push laws that make your job safer.
Although politics is a sensitive topic, especially today, I will say this, take careful note of the legislators and elected officials who have, and continue to support and actively protect your interests at work. These are the very same people who need your support now in the general election. Make no mistake, 876 remains bipartisan and only supports candidates who have a proven track record of supporting workers. For those interested to see who these legislative candidates are go to ufcw876.org/#political-advocacy.
I wanted to also to talk about the remaining Membership Advantage Event calendar. Because all events are subject to state and federal executive orders and mandates to ensure the safety and health of others, the remaining 2020 calendar has been cancelled. I'm afraid this includes the 25 Year Member Celebrations. We are looking forward to a really big celebration next year!
The Pension Protection Program vote that passed by 876 is contingent upon the entire country. Currently, the final outcome is now pending upon a Texas local where an official announcement will be made as soon as practicable. As for the night crew premium effort, this is quickly coming to fruition and we will have good news to share very shortly!
Together we can do this!