FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 27, 2020
Union Praises Governor for Recognizing Grocery and Food Employees as Tier 1 Critical Workers, Expanding Access to Childcare
BROOKLYN CENTER, MN – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663, which represents more than 13,200 workers in grocery, retail, meatpacking, and other industries in Minnesota and Iowa, applauded Minnesota Governor Tim Walz for acting to support thousands of Minnesota grocery workers on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak. Following today’s announcement by the governor, food workers – including those in grocery, meat packing and food processing – will be considered the same as other Tier 1 critical workers in Minnesota and have access to free childcare.
UFCW Local 663 President Matthew P. Utecht released the following statement:
“Minnesota grocery, meat packing and food processing workers are on the front lines of this outbreak, working around the clock to make sure families in our communities stay safe and get the essential food and supplies they need.
“Today’s action by Governor Walz recognizes the fact that people who work inside grocery stores are willingly putting themselves and their families in harm’s way. From stocking shelves to ringing people up at registers, these workers are spending entire shifts inside crowded stores and are risking infection every day. Meat packing and food processing workers are playing an equally critical role in ensuring that our food supply chain does not falter under this pandemic and are making sacrifices to keep the lines running.
“UFCW Local 663 members in grocery stores, meat packing and food processing plants are grateful to Governor Walz for supporting them as they continue to ensure our communities have access to the goods we all need during this difficult time.”
UFCW Local 663 represents more than 13,200 hard-working retail, meat packing and processing, food preparation and manufacturing, healthcare, and other workers in Minnesota and Iowa. We strive to improve the lives of our members and of all working families by fighting for economic, political, and social justice in our workplaces and communities. Local 663 is part of the 1.3 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.