AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JOHN T. NICCOLLAI - 6-1-2020

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JOHN T. NICCOLLAI
MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2020
 
COVID-19 UPDATE
 
DRAFT OF LETTER DEMANDING CONTINUATION OF HAZARD PAY
 
 
May 29, 2020
 
Dear Employer:
 
We of the UFCW are sending this notice collectively as a Region to prevent the elimination of Employee Hazard Pay at this time.  Factually, any actions taken to modify the present program could only be viewed as ill-advised and a glaring example of Corporate Greed.
 
We are hard-pressed to understand how any rational corporate executive could view working conditions in our food stores as non-hazardous.  Employees are still wearing gloves, masks, social distancing, avoiding unnecessary handling of any type and witnessing restricted store customer counts.  Notwithstanding all these safeguards, our members are still being injured.
 
It is a further insult that although we are called associates and partners, Companies are discussing the reduction of our compensation during a time of record sales and profits in our Industry.  ACME reported sales up by 34%; other Companies are doing even better.  In fact, some Companies have gone as far as to suspend reporting sales figures to Supervision and Associates because they have grown substantially.
 
We can deal with the fact that your Company earns profits off our minds and our backs.  What is totally offensive and unacceptable is that you now wish to earn additional profits off the increased risk to our health and our lives.
 
As Employers, we are placing you on notice that if our Hazard Pay is unilaterally eliminated or replaced by some token bonus payout, you will leave us no choice but to resort to a multifaceted social media program not unlike what was done in New England.  We will act in accordance with legal guidelines and inform the public of the lack of Company compassion and the obsession with Corporate Greed.
 
We call to your attention the fact that our members have served the customers extremely well during these nearly impossible times, at a huge risk to our well-being.  The customers and the media have called us heroes and have thanked us profusely for all we have done in keeping the food chain operative.    They will not soon forget.
 
To date both the Union and the Companies have handled this Pandemic admirably.  It would be most unfortunate to have our accomplishments and successes destroyed by short cited solutions.
 
In light of the fact that our safety, working conditions, practices and procedures have changed so dramatically due to this Pandemic, it is imperative that we bargain collectively over those changes.  This will include the defining of how and when hazardous working conditions have dissipated and the resolution of the issue of Hazard Pay.
 
We await your expeditious response.