President John T. Niccollai
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JOHN T. NICCOLLAI - 4-23-2020
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JOHN T. NICCOLLAI THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2020
UPDATE ON COVID-19 PANDEMIC
UNION NEGOTIATED EXTENSION OF BONUS PAY
FOR THOSE WORKING AND HEALTH CARE COVERAGE FOR THOSE ON CORONA LEAVE
President Niccollai reported today that the Union has contacted our Employers and has been successful with negotiations on several issues vital to our membership.
First, we have extended Bonus Pay into next month, which was due to expire under the initial program. Your Union emphasized the fact that our members are the heroes keeping the food flow open to the public while enduring a risk of contact with others, notwithstanding the use of PPE, social distancing and reduced store capacity.
Secondly, we were also successful in getting Medical Care Coverage Payments extended through next month for those members not working and on a Corona Leave because of personal risk factors or a compromised family member at home. This should take the pressure off those members apprehensive about going to work and concerned about losing their Health Care.
The number of new Covid-19 cases in New York and New Jersey is decreasing, although our losses from the disease are only on a slowly flattening plateau. Hopefully, this should also begin to decrease quickly.
Our Packing Houses and Poultry Plants in the Midwest and South are experiencing high infection rates because of the difficulty in Social Distancing while working. A number of plants have closed to protect the workers and the public at large.
Several new developments are occurring concerning testing. LabCorp has announced the introduction of a Home Test Kit approved by the FDA, which is mailed back with quick results reported. Also, the States are starting to get more test kits as are some hospitals and medical centers. More testing will allow us to identify and quarantine those infected.
There is now some concern about another virus outbreak this winter, including regular flu, which could become a reality. The good news, however, concerning COVID-19 is that we have over seven months to develop a treatment program and vaccine. In all likelihood, we will have a treatment program before a vaccine has cleared all clinical trials. Remember, we have the greatest minds in the medical and scientific communities around the world working tirelessly on treatments and vaccines. Those facts should allow us to feel confident that we will see substantial progress in fighting and controlling this scourge.
WORK SMARTLY – WORK SAFELY