WASHINGTON D.C. - Workers in the meatpacking industries have been on the frontlines during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Many of those workers are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.
President Marc Perrone says COVID-19 is still going strong and hitting their union members, as well as non-union workers, very hard.
“The last time we did this call, we mentioned how some union and non-union employers had done away with hazard pay, or you could call it hero’s pay, in some cases. Companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Kroger, even though we’re over 100 days into this pandemic, the fact is, COVID-19 and the crisis it’s created hasn’t passed.”
Perrone says the union will be pursuing initiatives to get their workers paid and protected while they are on the frontline of COVID-19.
"First of all, we’re going to be calling for every retail food operation, meatpacking, and healthcare, non-union and union essential worker to immediately, as a minimum, to be paid 15 dollars an hour. And we also want the reinstatement of all hazard pay, or hero pay, in all states where cases are rising.”
Perrone says secondly they’re going to be calling for every state and county government to mandate the wearing of masks in public places, to compel employers and companies to enforce the use of masks.
He adds over 29,000 of their members in food retail, healthcare, meatpacking, and food processing, have been impacted or exposed to COVID-19.