COVID-19 Update


May 18, 2021

Dear Member,

Last Thursday, the CDC released updated guidelines for those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 that relaxed mask wearing and social distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Then last Friday, Minnesota Governor Walz updated mask guidelines for those fully vaccinated as well. 

UFCW President Mark Perrone released a statement following the CDC’s guidelines that says it best. Here’s the link to the full release, and the statement from President Perrone:

“While we all share the desire to return to a mask-free normal, today’s CDC guidance is confusing and fails to consider how it will impact essential workers who face frequent exposure to individuals who are not vaccinated and refuse to wear masks. 

“Millions of Americans are doing the right thing and getting vaccinated, but essential workers are still forced to play mask police for shoppers who are unvaccinated and refuse to follow local COVID safety measures. Are they now supposed to become the vaccination police? 

“With so many states already ending their mask mandates, this new CDC guidance must do more to acknowledge the real and daily challenge these workers and the American people still face. 

“Vaccinations are helping us take control of this pandemic, but we must not let our guard down. As one of America’s largest unions for essential workers, UFCW is calling on the CDC and our nation’s leaders to clarify how this new policy will be implemented, how essential workers will be protected, and how these workers will protect the communities they serve.”

I urge you to become vaccinated if you haven’t already, for your safety and for the safety of your co-workers and family. 

Calling all Members to Join the Essential Worker Study

As we head into another year of working on the front lines of COVID-19, it is critical that we better understand how this pandemic has and will impact you and all our members. For the sake of your health and safety, we believe essential workers must remain a priority when it comes to improving workplace safety, accessing life-saving vaccinations, and receiving critical resources that will save lives and stop the spread of this disease.  

To better understand how we improve workplace safety, and the impact that the pandemic has and will have, the UFCW has partnered with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and FORWARD, the national databank for rheumatic diseases, to launch a long-term, national Essential Worker Study.

The Essential Worker Study will help us better understand the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on workers and on all our families. By learning more about how this disease impacts frontline workers like you, we can learn about what steps we must take to better protect you in the workplace. 

Join today: 

Meatpacking Safety Legislation Still Alive and Well

The meatpacking and poultry processing legislation we have been advocating for is still alive and well at the MN State Capitol. This proactive legislation provides more enforcement, training, and accountability for workers’ health and safety in meatpacking

While the Legislature ended its regular session yesterday, May 17, leaders in the Senate and House have come to a broad budget deal. This means that lawmakers will meet around June 14 for a Special Legislative session to determine how much money gets allocated to policies. We will make sure to keep you updated.

Free College Information Session May 20

You can register here for the Thursday, May 20 Free College information session. Free College is one of the benefits you receive as a UFCW Local 663 union member. Learn about 2 and 4 year degrees you can obtain. Experts will be available on the call, and you will hear from a UFCW Local 663 member who has received a 2 year degree and is now working on his Bachelor’s Degree. The session begins at 7 p.m. Central.

Stay Connected

If you or your coworkers would like to receive these updates via text, please text “663ALERTS” to 83071.

Thank you for all that you do to keep our communities fed and safe. Take care.


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