The United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW) union has launched a national multimedia campaign, called #ShopSmart, that urges grocery shoppers to wear protection and practice social distancing to reduce the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) between themselves and store associates.
Announced Monday, #ShopSmart includes an advertising campaign with digital and television commercials. The public safety effort comes in response to the rising number of food and grocery workers being exposed to the virus, as well as the direct threat that the pandemic presents to the U.S. food supply, UFCW said. The Washington, D.C.-based food and retail union represents more than 900,000 grocery workers across the country.
“This is not union versus non-union, nor is it about politics or party. This is about life or death. Workers are being exposed and they are dying,” UFCW International President Marc Perrone said in a press call this morning. “We’ve seen the deaths of grocery workers from Walmart, Trader Joe’s and food plants. As of today, based on our most recent estimates, at least 30 of our members have died across all industries, and nearly 3,000 are no longer at work because they’ve been exposed to somebody who’s sick or they’re sick themselves.”
The estimated number of deaths and exposed workers is based on reports from UFCW local unions and includes those who have tested positive for COVID-19, missed work because of self-quarantine, are awaiting test results, have been hospitalized or are symptomatic, the union reported.