March, 2020

Important Information on Safety Updates for Members at ConAgra, Tyson, Plumrose

Our country’s grocery, retail, pharmacy and food processing workers are working tirelessly during this outbreak to ensure families get the food and supplies they need. America’s food workers are on the front lines of the pandemic and play a critical role not just in the economy but in the healthy functioning and survival of our society. And we have been fighting for additional resources and job protection for our members.

Members at the following food packing and processing plants can expect some changes (including but not limited to what is listed below) during the ongoing corona virus crisis:



  • Workers should come to work when they are well and remain home when they are ill. Points for COVID-19 absences will not be accrued beginning March 16 through April 12; this timeframe may be modified.
  • Will pay workers who are quarantined due to: Contracting COVID-19; Knowledge of direct exposure to COVID-19; need to care for a spouse, child, or parent due to a COVID-19 related quarantine. Workers must confirm diagnosis or need to quarantine on HR form. (Does not cover closure of schools, day care or the closure of other childcare facilities.)
  • Conagra workers will receive a one-time bonus on April 3, 2020.



  • Will eliminate points for missing work due to COVID illness or due to child-care issues, but must properly notify management about illness or child-care issues.
  • For anyone entering the facility and every worker before each shift – their body temperature will be taken. If anyone has a temperature of 100.4 or greater, they will not be allowed to access the facility.
  • Workers who are sent home due to protocols associated with COVID-19 (including travel to a Level 3 country or exposure through contact with a confirmed diagnosed COVID-19 person) will be paid for the 14-day isolation period.
  • For workers diagnosed with the flu or COVID-19, short-term disability, will waive short-term disability (STD) waiting period; workers will get STD pay starting the first week and continuing for period outlined in STD plan.
  • Waived co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles for doctor visits, COVID-19 testing, as well as eliminated pre-approval or preauthorization steps.
  • Waived co-pays for the use of telemedicine and relaxed refill limits for 30-day prescriptions of maintenance medications.



  • Workers who may be or are ill with a fever or respiratory infection are to stay home until they are symptom free for 24 hours, without the use of medication. Workers with symptoms will be treated under the same protocol as the flu.
  • Workers who test positive for COVID-19 or have other illnesses that prevent them from working will be subject to the short-term disability (STD) plan.
  • Workers eligible for STD benefits if they meet the following criteria (but can choose to continue working):
    • Workers age 70 and older, or Workers who are pregnant, or Workers who are being treated for cancer, worker’s elimination period will be waived. (Must have worked for the company at least 30 days and meet the above criteria to be eligible.)
  • Short-term disability benefits available via normal payroll; normal taxes and deductions will be deducted from paycheck.
  • Line speeds slowing to increase the staggering of breaks to have fewer workers in the break areas at one time
  • Enhanced sanitation procedures throughout its facilities.


Again, this is not an exhaustive list of changes. As always, should you have questions or if you’d like more information, please contact your Union Representative.

An important update for members covered by Heartland Health and Wellness Fund

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to serving the public in these especially difficult times. We wanted to make sure you were aware of you aware of some important changes to your health care benefits.

Heartland and its partners are making some services free during the COVID-19 situation.

  • COVID-19 Tests Covered. The cost of any COVID-19 testing is covered at 100% for both in-network and out-of-network doctors.

Contact Heartland Health and Wellness at 800.433.1204 or visit

Kroger Workers on Frontlines Get Additional Resources, Job Protections

Thank you for your hard work during this extraordinary time – grocery and food workers are on the frontlines of this national crisis. That’s why UFCW continues to push for you to get the resources and protections you need.

We’ve been fighting for additional pay. Kroger workers will receive a one-time payment of $300 for full-time and $150 for part-time; folks who were working for the company on or before March 1, 2020 are eligible. It will be paid on April 3.

We’ve been advocating for paid time off if you’re sick. New COVID-19 Emergency Leave Guidelines allow paid time off for workers diagnosed with COVID-19 and for those placed under mandatory quarantine by their medical provider or by a public health authority because of exposure to COVID-19. In addition, COVID-19 related self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an appropriate health care professional, are covered. All eligible workers will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days). (If workers are unable to return to work after 14 days, additional paid time off may be available through a short-term disability benefit.)

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your Union Representative.

UFCW Members Continue to Provide Invaluable Service to Community

Let me begin by sincerely thanking you—and all our members—for everything you are doing to help your customers, our community, and your country through this unprecedented health crisis. You are on the frontlines of this crisis, and you are proving how invaluable your work is, and the vital role our union members play in times like these.

Please know that your UFCW Local 700 family is here for you during these difficult and challenging times. You are not alone. We are one union family, and we are in this together.

To help you and all our members, we have mobilized our emergency operations to ensure that member concerns and services are being addressed as quickly as possible. In addition, we will be providing you regular updates, such as those noted below, on what actions your local union and the International are taking to protect all of our members.

Among the actions we wanted you to know about include:

  • Working with state and federal leaders to develop immediate policies that will protect members’ personal and economic health. Specifically, both the local union and International union are working with elected leaders to ensure that any new local, state, and federal policies to address the Coronavirus pandemic also address the essential concerns of UFCW members.
  • The local union and International union are having ongoing discussions with management and your employers about the steps they are taking (and should take) to protect your job, pay and benefits. These discussions include additional steps they need to take to protect co-workers from any workplace exposure to the coronavirus, as well as address concerns our members have raised.
  • To ensure that the critical work you are doing is recognized and protected, we are working at the state and federal level to designate our grocery retail, health, and food processing members as “first responders.” This designation, we believe, will provide immediate access to testing and additional protections necessary to do your vital jobs.
  • To ensure that all our members are aware of any critical updates about this coronavirus pandemic, we are asking you to please text “Prepared” to 83071. These alerts will provide you invaluable updates throughout this crisis, so we will be encouraging all of our members to sign up as quickly as possible.
  • To make you aware of the protective measures recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), we will be posting key information on our local union and International union websites.
  • To help ensure your safety, we are strongly encouraging all of our members to reach out to us at [insert number] if they have any workplace concerns about their personal health or workplace safety. It is essential that we hear of these concerns from you so we can address them with your employer as quickly as possible.

With respect to your health, and the health of your loved ones, it is essential that we all take smart steps to protect ourselves. For example, if you show any symptoms of the coronavirus, which include fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, you should immediately call your healthcare provider. To find out additional information of what you can and should do to protect yourself, please visit

On a more personal level, I know that these are incredibly stressful days for you and all members of our union family. During such trying moments, we want you to know that your union will be here for you. As difficult as the days ahead may be, we will get through this together.

Thank you again for all the work you are doing, and please do not forget to sign up for text alerts by texting “Prepared” to 83071.


Stay safe,

Joe Chorpenning
President, UFCW Local 700
Vice President, UFCW International Union



Important Update for UFCW700 Members at Kroger re COVID-19

Our members are the best in the business – thanks to the grocery professionals of UFCW Local 700 for continuing to serve the public during these challenging times. 

For our members working in Kroger stores:

The Company is working on a new hiring process that will permit folks to start sooner in an effort to meet demand.

Store hours have been adjusted to 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The implementation of the new attendance policy has been temporarily suspended.

For anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 and for Kroger workers placed under mandatory quarantine by their medical provider or by a public health authority because of COVID-19, eligible employees will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days). Should you be unable to return to work after 14 days, additional paid time off may be available through your Short-Term Disability (STD) benefit.

Should you have any questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to contact your Union Representative. Thanks for all that you do!

Important Update from UFCW700 re Kroger Scheduling Policy

Today, UFCW Local 700 learned that Kroger unilaterally implemented a revised attendance policy. At no time did anyone from the Union sign off on or approve the policy.

In the meantime, if you receive an occurrence under this policy, please let your Union Representative know immediately so they can take appropriate steps consistent with protecting your rights. We are stronger together!