Hello Brother and Sisters,
Over the last couple of weeks we have experienced changes in our lives that most of us would never have imagined. The stock market is crashing while at the same time grocery stores are seeing sales that only usually happen for snow storms or hurricanes.
While our members in the grocery stores are working tirelessly to make sure we all have the food and necessities that we need, some of our other members are not fairing as well. Our cafeteria workers along with school bus drivers have been laid off due to mandatory school closings.
Whatever happens to be your situation, I just want you to know that your union is here for you and working to make sure that you are safe, both physically as well as financially.
Last week I made the decision to close the physical office in Providence; but, this Local Union remains open and working on your behalf. I have instructed all staff to work from home to avoid unnecessary contact and the possible spread of the virus. Your Union Representative is still only a phone call away.
On other fronts we are continually working with state and federal legislative representatives to push for workers on the front lines to be designated as “first responders” to help to protect you in your workplace and be entitled to other workplace protections. We have also been in constant contact with your employers in an effort to secure everyone the safeguards they need during this extraordinary time.
I am sure it won’t surprise anyone that I have made the decision to cancel the April Quarterly membership meetings. Until we are told that it is safe to have large gatherings, this Local will not put the membership at risk by having any group meetings. This will also include the monthly executive board meetings.
These times have many of you stressed and upset not only by the daily pressures of your job, but also from the uncertainty that has come with the current world that we are now forced to live in. They only thing I can say is be safe and take care of one another.
Last year at this time we were all going through another battle with Stop & Shop. During that time everyone showed an extraordinary amount of solidarity and strength, and that is what is required now. A former mentor of mine would always say to me that “this too shall pass” and I have to believe that this will.
In the meantime I just want everyone to know that your union stands with you and is here for you and will do whatever we can to help get everyone through this.
I also want you to know how very proud I am of each and every one of you for your dedication and commitment, not only to your job, but to your community as well. This is why I believe that union workers are the best workers anywhere.
Stay safe and God speed.
In solidarity I remain,
Sincerely and fraternally,
UFCW Local 328