New Pro-Worker Legislation Signed Into Law!

Dear UFCW member,

You and your fellow UFCW members will have more power in their workplaces because of the courage and relentless fight of workers and the legislative victories they led this year.

The legislative victories UFCW members won this year are:

  • SB 553 (Cortese) Workplace Violence Prevention: requires employers to implement basic protections to protect workers from violence while they’re on the job, which includes developing and implementing a workplace violence prevention plan, logging incidents and providing workers with workplace violence prevention training.
  • SB 616 (Gonzalez) Paid Sick Days for All Californians: requires employers to provide workers with five paid sick days instead of three and does not require a doctor’s note for up to five days of leave.
  • AB 647 (Holden) Protect Grocery Workers Job Act: protects grocery and pharmacy workers’ jobs by strengthening California’s existing Statewide Grocery Worker Retention Law and expands these protections to warehouse workers.
  • AB 853 (Maienschein) Californians’ Right to Know on Essential Goods and Services: requires grocery or drug-retail companies to notify the California Attorney General 180 days in advance of finalizing a proposed merger or acquisition and submit an impact analysis report on the impact of the merger or acquisition on workers and communities.
  • AB 1286 (Haney) Stop Dangerous Pharmacies Act: begins to alleviate the chronic understaffing of community pharmacies and pharmacist burnout that puts patients at risk of medication errors, by establishing a first-in-the-nation mandatory anonymous reporting of medication errors and providing minimum staffing for pharmacists who work alone.

The five bills passed this year would not have been possible if UFCW members did not involve themselves in every step of the legislative process. Members met with their legislators in district, traveled to Sacramento to speak at press conferences and attend lobby days, sent countless emails and told their personal stories to legislators and the Governor on why they should support pro-worker legislation.

However, we didn’t win everything we put in front of Governor Newsom. Our bill that would have provided severance pay to grocery workers who lose their job because of a merger and one that would have provided striking workers with access to unemployment insurance were vetoed. We’re disappointed that the Governor hailed California’s grocery workers as heroes and essential during the pandemic, but did not support them when the time came this year. The fact that workers need a reliable safety net – both if mergers cause job loss in the industry and if workers make the hard decision to go out on strike – is not going away.

We know UFCW members are strong and resilient and will continue to stand up and fight for policies that better their lives. We remain committed to pushing for what workers have the right to and deserve next year.

In solidarity,

Andrea Zinder