March 20, 2020
This morning, Governor Walz called me on the phone to discuss his executive order to classify grocery store workers as Tier 2 critical first responders this week. I thanked him for his leadership, and for being the calming voice and level head here for Minnesotans. I also thanked him personally for his leadership and what it means for my family. We then discussed the important work that Minnesota’s food workers do. I told him our concerns about being listed as Tier 2 level first responders. Their office will be providing me with clarification about Tier 1 and Tier 2 to provide accurate information to our members and I will share it with you right away. The Governor said to me that my feedback did not fall upon deaf ears and was greatly appreciated.
Today, Governor Walz restated his commitment to grocery store workers at his 2pm press conference.
More Members Get Appreciation Pay
Yesterday I sent you the Star Tribune story about how our grocery store employers are stepping up and gave increases in pay to all union hourly employees by $2 an hour. Here are some additional stories from the Pioneer Press and Kare 11 that ran our story. Last night after I sent out the daily email update, Lunds & Byerlys announced full-time employees will receive an additional $500 and part-timers will get $200 on their first check in April. That includes all current workers and those temporarily away to care for themselves or family members.
Oxendale’s and Seward Community Cooperative also joined the list of grocery employers who are also giving appreciation pay to our members.
Employers who have given the appreciation pay increase include: Miner’s, Quisberg’s Cub Foods, Corporate Cub Foods, Jerry’s Foods, Jerry’s Cub Foods, Kowalski’s Markets, Lunds & Byerlys, Radermacher’s Cub Foods, Linden Hills Coop, Seward Community Coop and Oxendale’s.
Ongoing Resources for Workers During COVID-19 Outbreak
In our ongoing efforts to keep communication lines open and information available, here is a list of useful websites during these uncertain times that you and your family may find helpful.
- UFCW Local 663 website
- Minnesota Department of Health website
- Center for Disease Control website
- World Health Organization website
- State of MN COVID-19 & Unemployment Insurance Benefits website
Retired Local 663 member Mike Cedarblade sent me this piece this morning that I’d like to share with you.
When this is over,
may we never again
take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the core
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theatre
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
When this ends,
may we find
that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be
we hope to be
and may we stay
for each other
because of the worst.
Thank you for the work that you do, and as always, reach out to me with any questions or concerns that you have. Take care.