UFCW Local 400, the union representing thousands of grocery workers at Giant and Safeway stores in the District, yesterday applauded DC Mayor Muriel Bowser for her decision to issue an executive order mandating additional measures to protect the health and safety of grocery workers and customers in D.C. stores.
But the union called the order a first step, and said more must be done. “This is not a time for broad, vague measures,” said Local 400 president Mark Federici. “We need specific, enforceable mandates to ensure everyone’s safety.”
The union is demanding testing for every grocery worker so they can make an informed choice before coming to work. “Without adequate testing, there is no way to know who is infectious until it’s too late,” said Federici, who renewed the union’s call for Mayor Bowser and every state governor to declare all grocery store, pharmacy, and food processing workers as ‘first responders,’ making them eligible for free coverage for all coronavirus treatments and tests, “as well as the treatment and personal protective equipment they need to stay safe on the job while they continue to serve our communities,” said Federici.