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California City ‘Becomes First In Nation To Use American Rescue Plan Funds For Grocery Worker COVID Pay’ - UFCW Applauds Oxnard City Council, Calls On Local Leaders Nationwide ‘To Support Similar Measures’ For Front Line Workers

Published Friday, June 11, 2021
by Michael Browne/Supermarket News
California City ‘Becomes First In Nation To Use American Rescue Plan Funds For Grocery Worker COVID Pay’ - UFCW Applauds Oxnard City Council, Calls On Local Leaders Nationwide ‘To Support Similar Measures’ For Front Line Workers

(OXNARD, CALIFORNIA) - The Oxnard, California City Council will allocate $2.5 million of its American Rescue Plan funds for Essential-Worker COVID Premium Pay for Retail Grocery and Pharmacy Workers, becoming the first city in the Nation to use the government funds to support those Workers who have served their community on the frontlines of the pandemic since it started. 

Front Line Workers who worked at least three months in a grocery store or pharmacy during the first 12 months of the Coronavirus Pandemic will receive a $1,000 bonus, according to the Oxnard City Council.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), America’s largest Union of Essential Food and Retail Workers, applauded the move.

“Essential Workers in grocery stores and pharmacies have bravely put their health at risk daily throughout the pandemic to ensure our families have the food, essential supplies and vaccine access we need,” UFCW President Marc Perrone said.  “Oxnard is making history as the first city in the Nation to use American Rescue Plan funds to provide these Essential Workers with the COVID Premium Pay they have earned and deserve.  The UFCW is urging all governors and local leaders in all fifty states to follow Oxnard’s lead by ensuring this State Pandemic Aid is used to provide COVID Premium Pay and recognize the extraordinary sacrifices made by those on the frontlines.”

The Oxnard City Council’s new COVID Premium Pay Grant announced will:

  • Allocate $2.5 million of the city’s $59 million from its American Rescue Plan funds on Essential Worker COVID Premium Pay for Retail Grocery and Drugstore Workers.
  • Provide $2.5 million of COVID Premium Pay for Retail Grocery and Drugstore Workers.  Both Full-Time and Part-Time Workers qualify. 
  • Provide a one-time payout to Workers who qualify. Current estimates indicate that roughly 2,000 Essential Workers in Oxnard would be eligible for the COVID Premium Pay, including about 450 Oxnard Essential Workers represented by UFCW Local 770.
  • The Oxnard City Council measure would give anyone who worked at least three months in a grocery store or pharmacy during the first 12 months of the Coronavirus Pandemic a $1,000 bonus.

UFCW Local 770 is the largest union for Essential Retail Workers in Southern California and its Members played a leading role in advocating for this action by the Oxnard City Council to provide the COVID Premium Pay these Workers have earned and deserve, Union Officials said.

UFCW Local 770 held meetings with the Oxnard City Council, participated in public comment sessions and wrote a letter in partnership with the Central Coast AFL-CIO Labor Council calling for this action.

“Essential Food and Drug Retail Employees are the lifeline that sustained our communities and kept us afloat during the COVID Pandemic,” UFCW Local 770 President John Grant said. “Front Line Workers continue to make sure our communities have the food, essential supplies, medications and life-saving vaccines needed.  UFCW 770 Members worked tirelessly with the Oxnard City Council to achieve this Gratitude Pay for Union and Non-Union Workers alike.  We commend the City of Oxnard for doing the right thing and urge other cities to follow suit by allocating their funds from the American Rescue Plan to Essential Worker COVID Premium Pay.”

UFCW has been a leading national voice for Front Line Workers and supported recent Biden Administration guidance calling for Essential Worker COVID Premium Pay to be prioritized as governors distribute $350 billion in state COVID relief aid from the American Rescue Plan. 

To Continue Reading This Labor News Story, Go To: www.supermarketnews.com/issues-trends/california-city-becomes-first-nation-use-american-rescue-plan-funds-grocery-worker

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