• What's New?

COVID-19 UPDATES
for Local 881 Members

This page will be updated regularly with new information for Local 881 UFCW members regarding the Coronavirus pandemic and response. If you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative!

April 5, 2020

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RETAIL WORKER PROTECTION WISHLIST!

Local has been having ongoing conversations with the office of the Governor. President Powell was invited to provide a list of recommendations for protecting retail, grocery, and pharmacy workers on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Our membership is uniquely exposed to this dangerous virus, because their essential work, serving the public, puts them directly in harm's way... Although the companies have been incredibly cooperative, they have been slow to execute consistent and effective measures to protect our members and the public. With a strong directive from your office, we believe meaningful change could take place in the stores, to benefit and protect everyone.Read President Powell's entire letter to here.

April 4, 2020

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THANK YOU, JEWEL-OSCO FOR EXTENDING HAZARD PAY!

Jewel-Osco responded to Local 881's request to extend their hazard pay provisions for our members through April 18th, 2020, and will re-evaluate again. As the crisis evolves and the shelter-at-home directive extends, Local 881 will continue to fight and advocate for our members to receive the front-line pay and protections they deserve.

April 3, 2020

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EMERGENCY COVID-19 BENEFITS AVAILABLE FOR LOCAL 881 MEMBERS

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, approved by Congress on March 27, 2020, includes a number of economic supports that will immediately help America's workers. Including:

  • Emergency Childcare Funding
  • Tax Filing Extension
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Extra Unemployment

Additional information can be found by visiting the AFL-CIO's State Resources website at: https://aflcio.org/covid-19/state-resources

Questions? Contact Local 881 UFCW Legislative and Political Director Zach Koutsky at 847-294-5064, x550.

April 1, 2020

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THANK YOU, MARIANO'S AND KROGER FOR EXTENDING HAZARD PAY!

Mariano's and Kroger has responded to Local 881's request to extend their hazard pay provisions for our members. As the crisis evolves and the shelter-at-home directive extends, Local 881 will continue to fight and advocate for our members to receive the front-line pay and protections they deserve.

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March 31, 2020

YOU DESERVE MORE HAZARD PAY!

We have asked all employers to extend their Hazard/Appreciation Pay to, at a minimum, match the timeline of Governor Pritzker's shelter-at-home directive.

See the letter that went out here.

March 30, 2020

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THANK YOU, JEWEL-OSCO FOR BANNING THE BAGS DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS

Jewel-Osco has responded to Local 881's request to eliminate unnecessary health risks to our members by temporarily banning the use of reusable shopping bags.

March 30, 2020

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RESOURCES FOR CHICAGO ESSENTIAL WORKERS

Childcare Help

Sittercity will provide three free months of the Sittercity Premium service and will connect those on the frontlines of fighting this crisis with volunteers to help care for their families during this time. A new, dedicated website – sittercity.com/chicagoresponds – will make it easier for workers deemed an essential part of the infrastructure helping Chicago stay safe, to find reliable childcare that will allow them to continue their crucial work.

Read the Mayor's childcare announcement here.

Transportation Relief

While the City continues to encourage all who can to stay home during this time, first-responders, healthcare workers and others need to have access to reliable transportation to get to and from work, while residents must maintain access to essential services. These transportation relief measures ranging from passenger credits to discounted usage fees will be in place through the duration of the Order, anticipated to last through April 7.

Read the Mayor's transportation announcement here.

March 27, 2020

letter to the editor

MORE MUST BE DONE TO PROTECT OUR MEMBERS ON THE FRONTLINES OF THIS CRISIS!

Although many employers have agreed to hazard pay increases or bonuses and most are installing plexiglass shields and implementing social distancing strategies in the stores, this is still not enough! Local 881 members need:

  • First Responder Status
  • Limits on the number of people in the store
  • Temporary ban on reusable bags, to prevent transmission

Read today's letters to Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot from President Powell.

Read the Ban the Bags Press Release.

March 23, 2020

letter to the editor

GROCERY WORKERS ARE THE UNSUNG HEROES OF THE COVID19 PANDEMIC AND SHOULD BE DESIGNATED AS FIRST RESPONDERS

Read President Steve Powell's Letter to the Editor.

March 21, 2020

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JEWEL-OSCO AGREES TO COVID-19 PAY

Jewel-Osco is the first of Local 881-represented employers to agree to compensate our members for the tremendous work they’ve been doing under unbelievably stressful working conditions. We are hopeful that more employers will do the right thing and take similar actions to help the workers on the front lines of this crisis.

See full statement here.

March 20, 2020

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THANK YOU TO U.S. SENATOR TAMMY DUCKWORTH FOR RECOGNIZING THE VITAL ROLE LOCAL 881 MEMBERS ARE PLAYING DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED CRISIS!

"UFCW employees are working on the front lines of this pandemic to make sure that Illinoisans are able to access the food, prescriptions and care they need," Duckworth said. "They deserve our thanks and our support, and I'll keep working to make sure we do everything we can to keep them safe from COVID-19 as they continue working during this crisis."

https://www.duckworth.senate.gov/news/press-releases/_-duckworth-discusses-her-efforts-to-protect-workers-during-covid-19-outbreak-with-ufcw-local-881-president--

March 20, 2020

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YOU DESERVE HAZARD PAY!

Your companies are relying on you to keep their doors open during this unbelievable situation. We have asked all of the employers staffed by Local 881 members to do the right thing and provide Hazard Pay for the workers on the front lines of this public health crisis!

See the letter that went out here.

March 19, 2020

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WHAT IS THE UNION FIGHTING FOR?

We are getting this question a lot! And rightfully so!!! While you have been in the stores fighting for our communities, we have been petitioning your employers and government to do the right thing, to address the special COVID-19 circumstances we are in. This includes: hazard protections, policies, leave, scheduling, discipline, and other benefits.

Every day we are adding to this list!

March 19, 2020

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Jewel and CVS have agreed to several temporary policies in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Please click on your company to read through the current way they are handling some of the concerns you have.

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More information will be coming from other Local 881-represented companies. When agreements are finalized, we will post them.

March 18, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ILLINOIS’ LARGEST RETAIL UNION CALLS FOR GROCERY, RETAIL, AND PHARMACY WORKERS TO BE DESIGNATED AS FIRST RESPONDERS

Des Plaines, IL - As Illinois and the nation enters the first week of unprecedented shutdowns of government and private business, the hardworking members of Local 881 United Food and Commercial Workers remain on the front lines of the societal and economic crisis that COVID-19 presents.

Staffing hundreds of grocery stores and pharmacies across Illinois and Northwest Indiana, Local 881 UFCW members are providing a vital link to millions of families who need to access food, prescriptions, and household products that allow them to stay home safely and help flatten the curve. Local 881 UFCW members are putting in thousands of hours at risk to their own health, to ensure stores remain stocked and sanitized, and will remain on the leading edge of the state’s response to this health crisis.

Please see the entire press release here.

March 18, 2020

LETTER TO OUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES IN THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS

"I am writing to ask you to stand up for our hardworking families most at risk during the coronavirus outbreak. Our UFCW members in grocery stores, retail establishments, and food processing plants are on the front lines, working around the clock to keep these businesses open and ensure that families in our communities have the essential food and supplies they need. Keeping our communities healthy and safe is our first priority, but our members need strong worker protections to continue doing these vital jobs."

Please see the entire letter here.

March 18, 2020

LETTER TO MAYOR LIGHTFOOT

"During this crisis, I know there will be a concerted push by business interests towards removing, delaying, or weakening pro-worker laws like paid sick days, a fair workweek, and a living wage that Chicago has enacted in recent years. I strongly urge you to resist those overtures and remain focused, as you have in your tenure, on the needs of working families in this trying time."

Please see the entire letter here.

March 17, 2020

LETTER TO GOVERNOR PRITZKER

"It has been a great comfort to know that in the highest office of our state, we have a Governor who is well informed and very concerned about the issues of working people, including our members… Each day the challenges we face as a community become more complex. In light of the recent announcements and guidance, I respectfully ask for you to strongly consider the following requests in consideration of the members of Local 881…"

Please see the entire letter here.

March 13, 2020

MEETING CANCELLATIONS FOR MARCH APRIL

With available information about the COVID-19 disease and its rapid, unprecedented transmission rates, Local 881 has made the decision to CANCEL all member events and meetings for March and April. Please see the list of cancelled events.

Especially now, in the midst of the quickly evolving response guidelines, ALL future meetings are SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Please check the Local 881 calendar for the most up-to-date information.

March 13, 2020

LETTER TO LOCAL 881 MEMBERS INCLUDING OUR INITIAL RESPONSE PLAN

President Powell sent the entire membership a letter in response to the pandemic.

"In just a short time after the World Health Organization declared this event an official ’pandemic#8217;, we have already seen the stores we represent flooded with customers preparing for possible quarantine situations. We are very aware that you are quite literally on the front lines of this situation. We have been extremely proud of your remarkable response to a very serious public health crisis.

At this time there are more questions than answers available on the new and uncharted workplace issues that this event has created. Unfortunately, there is no pandemic language in our contracts or a clear path for how these situations will be handled." Please see the entire letter here.