Essential Workers Need Their Unions

Sometimes it takes a tragedy to see the truth.  The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on a fact that the Union Movement has known for decades.  Working people need a voice on the job.

We see the consequences of economic neglect every day in the news.   Right now, we are completely dependent on essential workers in industries, that just a few weeks ago, were considered too low-skilled to deserve a raise.   They deserve better.

Grocery store clerks, cashiers and shelf-stockers.  Food service and production workers.  Trash collectors and public service employees. Healthcare workers and direct support professionals.  These workers are the definition of essential. And, too many of these sisters and brothers are on the job without adequate workplace safety and health protections.  This is unacceptable.   

This crisis has made clear the impact of unions in the workplace. But unions are standing up for their members, and all working people. And the PA AFL-CIO could not be more proud.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776KS represents grocery workers and food production workers across the Commonwealth.  The union is working with its employers to ensure workers are protected on the job.  From working with Giant Eagle to install plexiglass shields for cashiers, to distributing 25,000 face shields to its workers,  this is what it means to have a union in the workplace fighting for health and safety.

Of course, grocery store and food production workers are not the only sisters and brothers facing workplace safety issues.  Each and every affiliate union of the PA AFL-CIO is working hard to ensure workers are protected on the job and have adequate personal protective equipment.   

Tell us if you and your union are working with an employer to protect workers on the job by emailing sshewmaker@paaflcio.org.

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