UFCW700 Updates


UFCW Local 700 Calls on Maple Leaf to Continue Hazard Pay

The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to present unprecedented challenges for our nation’s food supply and workers in the food processing and meatpacking industries.

We can continue to protect our food supply by protecting our food workers. Protecting food workers also helps to protect all aspects of our food supply – from ranchers to production and from processing to our local supermarkets.

Maple Leaf Farms should continue to compensate its workers for the additional risk they take simply by walking in the door to work. This crisis has not ended, and neither should their additional pay.

Check out the letter we sent to Maple Leaf here.

UFCW Local 700 Announces Union Scholarship Program

UFCW Local 700 is proud to award $22,000 per year in scholarships to members or dependents.

Applicants must be UFCW Local 700 members in good standing, or their legal dependents; have graduated or will graduate from high school or are currently enrolled in college or trade school; must have completed the SAT or ACT; and must be accepted to an accredited institution OR met the requirements and enrolled in a two-year community college, technical, or trade school.

Twice a year, we award $11,000 in scholarships: Five at $1,000 each and twelve at $500 each.

Click here for more information.

Applications available:

Applications must be postmarked no later than July 31, 2020.


UFCW Presidents Denounce Kroger Decision to Stop Hero Pay

We’re fighting for the job protections and resources you need. UFCW Presidents in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky sent a letter to Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen, denouncing the company’s decision to stop Hero Pay and issue Thank You bonuses. Some may say we are returning to normal, but we know that’s simply not true. You’ve been on the frontlines throughout this crisis. You’re the ones making sure that people in our communities have the food and supplies they need:

“Our members did not come to Kroger for a job to become frontline workers facing sickness and death every day. They came for good jobs, so that they can raise their families and serve their communities. These grocery professionals do hard jobs on a “regular” day – now, these jobs have become especially dangerous.

The hardworking men and women who make Kroger successful deserve more pay for facing that danger. Do the right thing and restore Hero Pay until they can toss the masks and ditch the thermometers – and until they do not feel scared to go to work anymore.

We urge you to continue Hero Pay – our members, your workforce, have earned it and they deserve it.”

See the letter to Kroger CEO from UFCW Region 4 Presidents.

UFCW Wins Additional Pay for Members at Kroger

Members of UFCW Local 700 are essential to ensuring that every American continues to have access to the food they need to feed their families, and you must be provided with necessary job protections and resources. We’ve been fighting for you – and will keep fighting for you.

We’re proud to announce that we’ve won additional pay for our members at Kroger. This “Thank You” pay is for people who are active on or before May 23. Eligible full-time workers will receive $200 on May 28 and $200 on June 18; eligible part-time workers will receive $100 on May 28 and $100 on June 18.

We fought to extend COVID-19 Emergency Leave guidelines, which will continue, so that workers who are directly affected by the virus or experiencing related symptoms will still have access to additional paid time off.


UFCW Local 700 President Joe Chorpenning issued the following statement responding to Kroger’s decision to end “Hero Pay” and instead give out a bonus:

“We are not back to normal. Kroger is thriving in a pandemic because of the work of our members. It’s our members on the frontlines. It’s our members who continue to serve the public at great risk to themselves and their families. They’ve earned more and they deserve more.”


UFCW International President Marc Perrone issued the following statement:

“We are extremely disappointed, and we know that our members are, by Kroger’s decision to end Hero Pay.

At the beginning of this crisis, Kroger first called these workers heroes and now they have decided that they’ve stopped being heroes.

The simple fact is that the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Social distancing continues. Kroger workers are still required to wear masks. There is no vaccine.

This decision is even more inexplicable given that sales are up and profits are up.

The reality is that Kroger is choosing to ignore this pandemic. This is not how we treat heroes in America.”


UFCW700 Calls on JBS for Pay Increases at Plumrose

Over two hundred members of UFCW Local 700 work at the Plumrose plant in Elkhart, which is owned by JBS. They – like other food packing and processing workers – have been working throughout a global crisis and continuing to ensure that people in our community have access to the food they need.

Members of UFCW Local 700 are not receiving the same hourly pay increases as other JBS workers across the country. This must be corrected immediately. See the letter President Joe Chorpenning sent to company leadership about increasing pay for workers at Plumrose.

UFCW Local 700 Fighting to Continue Hero Pay at Kroger

We’re fighting for the job protections and resources you need. UFCW Presidents in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky sent a letter to Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen, fighting to continue the Hero Pay. You’ve been on the frontlines of this crisis, and you’re still there, serving the public, making sure that people in our communities have the food and supplies they need:

“The members of the UFCW that work for [Kroger] are stocking shelves, bagging groceries, cleaning, and running cash registers while wearing masks and gloves to try to save their lives and the lives of their families…

This is no time for the company to turn its back on the very people who’ve gotten Kroger through this pandemic thus far with no end in sight. We ask that you continue the Hero Pay, as your competitors have done, through the month of May.”

See the letter from UFCW700 President Joe Chorpenning to Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen about continuing extra pay for you.

UFCW Local 700 Statement on Tyson Logansport Reopening

Over 14,000 members of UFCW Local 700 are hard at work on the front lines of this crisis – in grocery stores and food processing plants across Indiana. These workers are putting their lives on the line every day to keep our country fed during this deadly outbreak and they must be protected. Our members are essential to ensuring that every American continues to have access to the food they need to feed their families, and they must be provided with essential protections.

The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting an unprecedented challenge for our nation’s food supply and every worker across the food processing and meatpacking industries. UFCW represents over 250,000 members who work at meatpacking and poultry plants across the country, including thousands in Indiana. We are America’s largest meatpacking and food processing union.

Federal and state elected leaders must mandate and enforce clear guidelines to ensure that every employer lives up to the high safety standards these workers deserve and the American people expect. We want workers to have the protections they need to be safe on the job and we are asking that the federal and state governments prioritize the safety of these workers, which is how we keep plants open and protect our food supply.

“Worker safety must come first, and there must be strong and enforceable rules to protect them on the job,” said UFCW Local 700 President Joe Chorpenning. “We are committed to working with the company on continuous improvements to ensure that our members are as safe as possible. We’re asking all our leaders – federal, state, corporate, and union – to work together and help keep these plants open by protecting these workers.”

Together, UFCW Local 700 and Tyson have previously implemented additional safety measures including social distancing and restricted access; temperature checks; modified time off policies; facial coverings; additional sanitation procedures; and improved worker communication.

UFCW700 Asks Holcomb for Additional Safety Measures for Meat and Poultry Workers

Thousands of members of UFCW Local 700 work in meatpacking and poultry plants in our state. Meat and poultry slaughter and processing workers are essential to ensuring that every American is able to continue to access the food they need to feed their families.

We share the concern over the food supply. But, an April 28 federal executive order that requires meat packing and processing to remain open during the pandemic fails to address the safety of the workers who are putting their lives on the line during this pandemic.

We sent a letter to Gov. Holcomb urging him to require employers in Indiana to: enforce physical distancing; provide respirators; provide testing; provide mandatory paid quarantine; and protect workers from retaliation.

Temperature Checks at Kroger to Keep Workers Healthy and Well

Our members are working tirelessly to help families in our communities get the essential food and supplies they need. And we’re working to ensure that food workers have the resources and job protections you need.

Our members should be safe and healthy on the job, and additional workplace measures will help to ensure that. If you work in a Kroger store, your temperature will be checked prior to your shift. Temperatures will be taken using a digital, non-contact thermometer, in a private location, out of view of other workers and customers, and where conversations cannot be heard by others. Anyone with a temperature reading over 100.4°F will be sent home immediately. If your temperature is over 100.4°F, you will be paid for the rest of your shift that day. You should seek advice from a healthcare professional, if you believe you might have contracted the COVID-19 virus or are suffering from any other condition that requires medical attention.

You must be fever-free for 72 hours before returning to work. Additional time off work after the first day is unpaid unless you choose to utilize other paid time off.

To prevent the infection and spread of COVID-19, wash your hands frequently, do not touch your face (e.g., eyes, nose or mouth), cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, maintain a distance from others (at least 6 ft.), and wear a face mask. 

Should you have any questions or need more information, please contact your Union Representative.