Union Announces Agreement With Safeway on Extra Worker Protections

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The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 union announced Monday an agreement with Safeway on a suite of new protections and rights for grocery store workers during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The agreement terms include increased scheduling flexibility for parents, expanded paid sick leave, up to two weeks of paid time off for workers exposed to the virus before they are required to use sick leave, a $2 per hour pay raise for at least two weeks and giving existing employees priority over temporary employees for additional hours.

"Local 5 members are working around the clock to assure that families have the food and supplies they need," UFCW Local 5 President John Nunes said. "Along with health care workers they are truly first responders during this growing crisis."

UFCW officials are also making an effort to lobby state legislators to adopt protections for grocery store workers, like more paid leave, free coronavirus testing, mandated increased staffing and adequate sanitary cleaners and products like gloves.

A Safeway representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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