Thank you for making us proud to serve you
by President Mark Ramos
Those are two words that can never be said enough to each and every member of this union.
You, the members of UFCW Local 1428, are more than important. You are the reason we exist. Protecting your health and welfare is our number one priority.
I became a UFCW member in 1987. During my time working in the stores or here at Local 1428, we have survived earthquakes, fires and a 141-day strike and lockout.
I knew all of these things were possibilities, but no one ever told me one day our union would become one of the most vital components to keeping our country together as a functioning society.
On the front lines
None of us signed up expecting to be on the front lines of a national crisis, but this is what you’ve been doing.
You were out there when the panic shopping was at its most disgusting peak, and you handled this difficult situation with true professionalism — sometimes working 12-hour shifts to keep the shelves stocked, sanitized and the floors swept. Even now, with improved safety protocols in place, your skills as well as your patience are tested every day as hundreds of people pass through the aisles and check stands.
While on the job, you heroically set your own concerns aside to make sure others have what they need.
And at the end of your workday (or night), you worry about bringing the virus home. So, you disrobe and shower before you even say hello to your family.
We always knew that the many wonderful people who work in our stores are cornerstones of our communities, along with the health care workers, police officers and other heroes who selflessly put themselves at risk.
Now, most Americans are aware of this as well.
They know that you are out there taking the brunt of this pandemic.
They know that you have put yourselves in harm’s way by coming to work every day so they can buy the food, medicine and supplies they need.
Keeping you safe
For so long, a grocery or drug store worker was seen as a clerk, checker or pharmacy tech with a friendly smile and a helpful attitude, but still merely an afterthought in one’s busy life. But the public now realizes there would not be any life without us.
As a union member and president, I continue to be worried some of our members will get sick or their family members will get sick. We’ve been fortunate so far at Local 1428, but that doesn’t mean something isn’t out there waiting to happen.
So, we keep doing what we can to help keep you safe. We continue to support the common-sense orders and guidelines from the governor and city and county health officials. We continue to push for safety equipment, reduced crowds in the stores, extra compensation, and enhanced sick leave and leave of absence policies for our heroic members.
In addition to worrying, I’m beyond proud of the people we represent and serve. This is why we have put pictures of as many of you as we could in this publication. Click here to see photos of our members. Please continue to follow all safety protocols and be safe.
Thank you for giving us so many reasons to be proud to serve you.