Labor union reaches agreement to protect Washington grocery store workers during COVID-19 crisis

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has reached an understanding with local grocery stores in Washington state that will protect workers during the COVID-19 crisis. 

UFCW Local 1439 represents Union Grocery Stores and Packing Plants in Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Northeastern Oregon. 

The agreement protects Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyers and Rosauers employees in Washington, ensuring their schedules stay flexible to accommodate childcare needs, and more. 

Under the agreement, employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are required to self-quarantine will be given up to two weeks of pay. 

Employees will also have access to paid sick leave to cover child care needs, and will not lose eligibility for medical coverage or vacation accrual while out on sick leave. 

Should a grocery store face staffing shortages, the agreement also makes it so employers will be able to bring in extra resources while still making sure their employees are offered hours and overtime first. 

The agreement also includes potential added pay premiums for employees.

READ: A list of local stores participating in senior and at-risk shopping hours