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Additional PPE Required for Kroger Workers

Nearly 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. 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.

Members in Kroger stores have continued to express your desire to be safe and healthy on the job. Now, there will be additional PPE – face masks – required as part of your regular uniform. Beginning Saturday, April 25, Kroger workers will be required to wear face masks. Exceptions may be made if you have a medical condition and provide supporting documentation that you are unable to wear a mask. The company will provide masks for every worker on every shift.

In addition to wearing masks, the best way to prevent the infection and spread of COVID-19 is still frequent hand washing, not touching your face (e.g., eyes, nose or mouth), covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and maintaining a distance from others (at least 6 ft.).

You will be asked to sign a form verifying that you read how to properly wear and dispose of your face mask. You may be able to wear your own face mask as long as it is the appropriate kind.

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

UFCW Local 700 Releases Statement on Temporary Closure of Tyson in Logansport

Nearly 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. Our members are working tirelessly to help families in our communities get the essential food and supplies they need. We must protect our food supply, and they are vital to supporting that mission. We’re working to ensure that food workers have the resources and job protections they need.

The Tyson plant in Logansport is closing temporarily. The company is working with the union and with health officials to ensure that when the plant reopens that it is done in a manner that is safe for workers in the plant and for the people living in our communities. In the case of workers who test positive for COVID-19, the company is continuing to follow the guidelines established by the CDC, and State and local Boards of Health.

“Our members work hard every day to make sure people in our community have the food they need,” said UFCW Local 700 President Joe Chorpenning. “We’re working with the company to keep our members as safe as possible when they are on the job and fighting to ensure they continue to be paid so they can support their families while the plant is closed.”

Together, UFCW Local 700 and Tyson have 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.

What Happens if a Co-Worker Tests Positive for COVID-19 [Kroger]

Food Workers across the country are on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis, continuing to ensure that people and families have access to the food and supplies they need. UFCW is continuing to fight for the resources and job protections you need.


If you work at Kroger and another employee test positive for COVID-19, this is what you can expect:

 

Information will be shared verbally in huddles as soon as possible once a test is confirmed positive. Additional details about the associate cannot be disclosed, in accord with applicable laws and regulations.

 

The Company will take all necessary steps to identify and notify any workers who worked closely with the employee at issue during the relevant timeframe, as recommended by the local county Board of Health. Any such workers have been asked to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from last direct contact with the affected associate and to monitor themselves for any symptoms.  Those employees asked to quarantine are covered by our emergency COVID leave of absence.

 

As a precautionary measure, there will be deep cleaning of known or potentially contacted areas and equipment based on CDC guidelines and using regulatorily approved products for COVID-19.  In many cases, Kroger is using a 3rd party professional cleaning service.  In most instances, the location at issue remains open and as fully functional as before.  There are times a department may temporarily close to allow cleaning to take place.

 

The company is working hard to maintain a clean environment in its facilities and has rigorous sanitation procedures in place to prevent the spread of illness to the fullest extent possible. It will continue to enforce already-strict preventive sanitation and safety measures in all locations.

 

Please follow the CDC’s recommendations to help prevent the spread of germs:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to minimize spreading germs.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

 

Anyone who experiences cold or flu-like symptoms should stay home.

 

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

Click here for a .pdf of this information.

 

Indiana Kroger Stores to Close Early on Easter Sunday

Thank you for continuing to ensure folks have the food and supplies they need. We’re fighting for the resources and job protections you need. Indiana Kroger stores will close at 4pm local time on Sunday, April 12 (Easter), to provide additional time off with your families.

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

PPE on the way for Kroger Workers

We’re fighting for the resources and job protections you need.The company agreed to provide a mask and gloves for every worker on each shift; they have notified us this will begin April 11. The Company is working to acquire additional hand sanitizer for all locations.

You are permitted – and encouraged – to wear homemade masks until the others arrive. If you have any issues regarding wearing homemade PPE, please contact your Union Representative.

Kroger to Limit Number of Customers in Stores

We’ve been fighting for the resources and job protections you need. Beginning April 7, Kroger will begin limiting the number of customers to 50% of building code capacity to allow for proper physical distancing. The number of customers will be monitored using QueVision.

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

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:

 

Conagra

  • 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.

 

Tyson

  • 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.

 

Plumrose/JBS

  • 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 www.heartlandwellnessfund.com.

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 CDC.gov.

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