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INTERNATIONAL

238 united food union workers died from Covid-19; 29000 workers infected
Saturday, 27 June, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Washington, D.C.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers, recently held a national press conference highlighting the impact and growing danger of Covid-19 on our nation’s frontline workers. During the call, the UFCW announced that over the last 100 days, 238 UFCW frontline workers have died from Covid-19 and nearly 29,000 workers have been infected or exposed to this killer virus.

During the press call, UFCW international president Marc Perrone also announced three new initiatives in response to the growing increase of Covid-19 cases in states across the country. The initiatives to address the impact on frontline workers include: (1) Reinstating hazard pay and establishing a $15 per hour wage for all frontline workers, (2) Establishing a public mask mandate in all 50 states, and (3) Creating a new national public registry to track Covid-19 infections in frontline workers which would require companies with more than 1,000 employees to submit monthly reports on their worker deaths, infections, and exposure.

The following are excerpts of president Perrone’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“With our country now 100 days into the Covid-19 pandemic, America’s frontline workers still face many of the same dangers they faced on day one. In grocery stores, meatpacking plants, and healthcare facilities, our country’s frontline workers are still getting sick and dying. It’s high time for America’s CEOs and elected leaders to pull their heads out of the sand and take the strong action needed to protect these brave workers and the communities they serve.

“American workers simply cannot survive with the current patchwork of safety measures taken by only a fraction of companies and states with millions still unprotected and vulnerable. We need real enforcement of the highest safety standards. Even worse, some of our nation’s biggest companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Kroger are still keeping us in the dark and refusing to tell the American people how many of their workers have died or been exposed to Covid-19. Simply put, it is impossible to hold the government or corporate America accountable when they hide the true impact of this outbreak.

“The failure of the Trump Administration to enforce clear OSHA standards is giving giant corporations like Amazon and Walmart a free pass to ignore their responsibility to keep their workers safe and this is exactly why so many frontline workers have become exposed to this virus. There is something fundamentally wrong when the White House and Congress are spending more time trying to let companies off the hook for the health of their workers. Americans deserve better.”
 
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