Nearly 50,000 ShopRite grocery workers in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut will receive hazard pay after the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) reached an agreement with the grocery chain.

The UFC, which represents 1.3 million food and retail workers, announced the deal Wednesday. The agreement with ShopRite recognizes the ongoing risks grocery workers have faced as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and provides retroactive hazard pay ahead of the holiday season that covers all hours worked between July 26 and Aug. 22.

“Grocery workers have been on the frontlines since this pandemic began and continue to put themselves in harm’s way to help families put food on this Thanksgiving. This new UFCW agreement is a powerful victory for ShopRite grocery workers across New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut,” UFCW International President Marc Perrone said in a statement.

“Today, UFCW grocery workers are sending a clear message to supermarket chains across the country that this pandemic is far from over, and every CEO must do the right thing by providing the hazard pay that these brave essential workers have earned and deserve as the threat from COVID-19 continues,” Perrone’s statement went on to say.

The new UFCW agreement with ShopRite also calls for the grocery chain to meet with local unions to discuss additional hazard pay in the case of future COVID-19 outbreaks resulting in the government closing all business, except those deemed essential.

UFCW International and UFCW locals have been negotiating with employers across the country this year to recognize grocery workers during COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Across the region, UFCW represents over 52,000 New Jersey workers, over 74,000 New York workers, and nearly 13,000 Connecticut workers.

In a statement to News 4 New York, ShopRite said in part: “ShopRite is pleased to have reached an agreement with the UFCW and other unions to award an appreciation bonus to associates for their work from July 26 through Aug. 22, and who are currently employed as of December 5, 2020.”

According to ShopRite, “the bonus settlement is in addition to the Temporary Emergency Premium pay provided to workers for five months during the pandemic, when non-essential businesses were ordered to shut down and government designated supermarkets as essential businesses.”

ShopRite went on to say: “We are thankful for all our associates do each day to keep our family-owned and operated stores running smoothly and safely.”

Source: NBC New York