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The United Food & Commercial Workers & The University Of Nebraska Medical Center Releases ‘Groundbreaking Study’ On ‘How’ COVID-19 ‘Impacts’ America’s Essential Workers - Study Calls For ‘Immediate Action’ From Lawmakers & Employers

Published Thursday, August 4, 2022
by UFCW News
The United Food & Commercial Workers & The University Of Nebraska Medical Center Releases ‘Groundbreaking Study’ On ‘How’ COVID-19 ‘Impacts’ America’s Essential Workers - Study Calls For ‘Immediate Action’ From Lawmakers & Employers

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million Workers employed in grocery, meatpacking and other essential industries across North America - in partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), has released the results of a year-long study on the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on UFCW Essential Members.

Among the key findings of the year-long study of Essential Workers were: UFCW Members who reported having COVID infections before May 2021 were twice as likely to be reinfected in the past year; Of those UFCW Members who contracted COVID, 59% believed it was likely they contracted the virus in their workplace; 6% of respondents contracted COVID needed to be hospitalized, which is a significantly higher rate than the nationwide 2% rate of hospitalization; 4% of Workers reported being unable to return to work after contracting COVID; and in May of 2022, half of respondents report that their lives were still deeply impacted by COVID.

“This UNMC study makes clear that COVID-19 has - and continues to have - a serious and significant impact on America’s Essential Workers,” UFCW President Marc Perrone said. “The UFCW is calling on Congress, the Biden Administration and states and localities to take bolder steps and policy actions to better address the impact of the pandemic, and to help protect Workers from future pandemics.  These Essential Workers paid a hefty price for continuing to do their jobs, which kept food on American families’ tables and our economy moving throughout the pandemic.  They deserve immediate action as they continue to confront ongoing risk and the Nation’s recognition for their service.”

Ali S. Khan MD, Dean College of Public Health at UNMC, said: “The unique partnership with UFCW has recorded the full scope of the markedly increased risk of COVID infections among Union Essential Workers.  Policies to protect these Essential Workers are critical to weathering the current surge of COVID cases nationwide and being ready for the next pandemic.”

In light of this groundbreaking study, the UFCW is calling for the following and immediate actions to protect the health and safety of our Essential Workers: Ensure Essential Workers in every industry have access to dedicated Paid Sick Leave that protects their employment status when dealing with infection; Immediately move on legislation, like the America’s Meatpacking Workers Act, to protect some of the most vulnerable Workers in the hardest hit industries; and Implement a nationwide Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Infectious Disease Standard and hold employers accountable who do not take steps to protect Essential Workers during pandemics.

To Continue Reading This Labor News Report, Go To: www.ufcw.org/press-releases/ufcw-and-university-of-nebraska-medical-center-release-groundbreaking-study-of-covid-impacts-on-americas-essential-workers/

Photo Courtesy Of The UFCW.

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