IPP&T Magazine Online

UFCW wants frontline workers to have vaccination priority

January 11, 2021   Don Horne




Locals 175 & 633 of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) is calling on the government to ensure each and every frontline worker has priority access to a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We see the numbers rising every day. We see the heartbreaking situation at our long-term care homes and a government that won’t step up and make it right. We see outbreaks at our meat processing plants, and we see a rising number of cases among retail grocery workers too,” said Shawn Haggerty, president of UFCW Local 175. “Making sure frontline workers get access to a vaccine as soon as possible is just one of the many ways that our government can help ensure the safety and health of not only workers, but customers, clients, and all of their families.”

With the slow start to the vaccine rollout, and now with some areas facing a shortage already, it’s apparent that the provincial government – despite having months to plan – is ill-prepared for distributing the vaccine in a timely manner. As more vaccines are expected to arrive in the near future, UFCW Locals 175 & 633 continues to advocate to politicians and officials to ensure every frontline worker that wants a vaccine can get one.

In addition to making sure frontline workers are a priority in vaccine distribution, the Union continues to call on employers and the government to make permanent increases to the wages of these workers who are risking their health every day.

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Workers across every industry – from grocery stores and pharmacies to health care, emergency services to meat processing, from hospitality and other services, and more – deserve to be paid well for the risks they continue to face day after day.

“I think we’re well past the point now in this pandemic where profit at the expense of the workers has become more than obscene. It’s unconscionable that more employers haven’t stepped up to do the right thing for the very workers keeping their businesses alive,” said Haggerty. “These workers deserve permanent increases immediately.”

UFCW Locals 175 & 633 represents more than 70,000 working people across all sectors of the Ontario economy including health care, retail grocery, pharmacy, meat processing, manufacturing, emergency services


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