Food Bankers, we hope you’re staying safe and healthy. Thank you so much to those who are continuing to go out and serve the community. Local 29 is advocating for all our members during this stressful time, but we need your help doing that!
We just finished another bargaining session (conducted over conference call), where we discussed wage increases, improved health insurance, a progressive discipline process, a grievance procedure, and Stewards. But, of course, we also talked about what our members need from their employer in this time of crisis.
These are the issues we raised:
- Many SFMFB employees are putting themselves and their families at risk by going out into the community without personal protective equipment (PPE). There are also staff who continue to commute to the office every day, and risk infection there as well. The Food Bank has provided very few gloves and cleaning supplies, and no masks. Staff don’t even have PPE at the pop-up pantries, where they’re interacting with hundreds of participants each day.
- Employees and volunteers haven’t been given sufficient tools, guidance, or personnel for enforcing social distancing at the pop-up pantries. You can see in the photo below that participants are gathered way too close together.
- Staff are working 6 or more hours straight at the pop-up pantries, without a lunch break and often without access to a bathroom. The lack of bathroom access means that staff and volunteers can’t wash their hands, even though they’re handling food.
- SFMFB employees aren’t being paid extra as compensation for risking infection. Safeway just announced that they will be paying each of their employees $2/hour extra during this crisis—SFMFB should also do that for everyone who isn’t able to work from home full-time.
HR and SLT agreed to discuss these issues with the bargaining team later this week. But they need to know how much this means to their workers. Reach out to leadership and explain that you expect $2/hour hazard pay for working outside your home during the shelter-in-place order?
We will continue fighting for your health, safety, and financial security, both during this crisis and going forward into the future.