March 16, 2020
COVID-19 info for UFCW Local 247 members
COVID-19 info for UFCW Local 247 members
Since it erupted in early 2020, the COVID-19 virus has triggered the biggest public health crisis in 100 years.
Staff at UFCW Local 247 have monitored the situation closely for its impact on union members, remained in regular contact with the employers, and stayed up to date with health officials’ recommendations.
“We are fortunate that so far, here in B.C., there have been only a few cases of UFCW members impacted by Covid-19,” says Dan Goodman, UFCW Local 247 Secretary-Treasurer. “Make no mistake, for our members to go to work every day in these circumstances, while it seems like the rest of the world is being told to isolate, can be very difficult.”
“The union’s first priority remains that members are able to work safely,” says Suzanne Hodge, President of UFCW Local 247. “Since Covid-19 emerged earlier this year, we have been in regular contact with employers to work through and put in place the public health authorities’ recommendations for keeping workers safe during Covid-19.”
“We will continue to work with our members and employers to adapt to the best safe practices during the Covid-19 crisis,” says Hodge.
“The members truly appreciated the Covid bonus pay that was volunteered by the employers,” says Hodge. “But they have also been understandably frustrated at the seemingly arbitrary choice the employers made to end bonus pay, because for all the safety improvements in the workplace, the threat of Covid remains.” (see petition link below)
“We’re asking members to keep up with the latest news from their workplace and their union about how to best work safely during the crisis,” adds Goodman.
General membership meetings for UFCW 247 members are continuing to take place quarterly via the Telephone Town Hall format, and the union’s Executive Board continues to meet quarterly by video conference call. In addition, bargaining with employers is also being conducted by video conference call.
If you would like your voice heard on the issue of continuing pandemic pay, please visit our petition page and show your support!
PROTECT YOURSELF & PREVENT FURTHER SPREAD OF COVID-19 (AND OTHER VIRUSES)
- Wash your hands frequently, with soap for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Coughing and sneezing should be done into your sleeve, shoulder or elbow.
- Reconsider if traveling to areas that are noted on the Active Health Notices section of Health Canada’s travel advisory page
- Stay at home if sick to help prevent spreading any illness to others.
IMPACT ON MEMBERSHIP, SERVICING AND NEGOTIATIONS
Union Representatives and staff interact with members and the public on a daily basis, in person, by phone calls, and through email and text messages.
During this uncertain time, Union Representatives are being directed to exercise social distancing when in the workplaces, and if assistance to members can easily be done by a phone call, conference call or email, then this will be considered, to limit possible transmission. We are also sensitive to the fact that many of the Employers are experiencing higher than normal levels of business, making it increasingly difficult to interact with members.
All union staff have been informed that if they feel unwell, they are to immediately cease unit visits. Communication with the membership will be done via phone, text and email.
Situations that require in-person interaction such as negotiations and grievance meetings, will continue as required.
The conditions are changing daily and in some cases scheduled negotiations are now being postponed because of imposed travel and /or work restrictions.
LATEST UPDATES & INFORMATION ON COVID-19
BC COVID-29 Online Self-Assessment Tool
Sign the petition for continued pandemic pay here
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Homemade protective masks donated this weekend for union members April 19, 2020
Loblaw extends $2 Premium to Mid-May April 18, 2020
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Loblaws introducing voluntary temperature checks for fever April 15, 2020
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Safeway members - health benefit coverage extended to May 31 March 25, 2020
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Sobeys announces bonus pay March 22, 2020
Loblaws to pay $2 per hour bonus retroactive to March 8 March 21, 2020
Important news for Safeway members: 3-way temporary agreement between Sobeys, UFCW 247, UFCW 1518 March 20, 2020
Loblaws and Sobeys announce new COVID-19 protections March 20, 2020
Hotline number available for BC residents with non-medical questions on COVID-19
Your UFCW neighbours on the front line
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety has good information about workers and the COVID-19 virus: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/coronavirus.html
-The BC Centre for Disease Control is another good resource for information on COVID-19: https://tinyurl.com/uxzjn6u
-CBC’s Vancouver TV news has a terrific video showing the importance of proper hand-washing with hot water and soap: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/putting-proper-hand-washing-to-the-test-1.5493296