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"We're all in this together" - COVID-19 info for UFCW Local 247 members

The COVID-19 virus has created a public health crisis around the world, and a very busy time for UFCW Local 247 members working in grocery stores and retail.

Staff at UFCW Local 247 remain in regular contact with the employers, and are monitoring the situation closely for its impact on union members.

“The union’s first priority is that members remain safe on the job, and we have been in regular contact with senior management at the major retail employers as the situation unfolds,” says Suzanne Hodge, President of UFCW Local 247.

“At this time,” says Hodge, “we are working with our members and employers to adapt as safely as possible to the realities of working during this crisis.”

“Our members are among the many workers who are dealing with the public, the crowded conditions in the stores and in many cases, angry, panicked, customers.  As a result they are made that much more vulnerable,” adds Hodge, “and they deserve our support and gratitude for continuing to work in these conditions and for all that they are doing in serving Canadians and helping us get through this crisis."

Employers of UFCW Local 247 members are putting out regular bulletins that have good, practical information about minimizing your risks of exposure and staying healthy during the crisis.

“We’re all in this together,” says Dan Goodman, UFCW Local 247 Secretary-Treasurer, “and want all our members and their families to be healthy and safe.”

 “We’re urging all Local 247 members to keep themselves informed about COVID-19,” says Goodman, “and to keep up with the latest news from their workplace and their union about how to best work safely during the crisis.”


  • Wash your hands frequently, with soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Coughing and sneezing should be done into your sleeve, shoulder or elbow.
  • Reconsider if traveling to areas that are noted on the Active Health Notices section of Health Canada’s travel advisory page
  • Stay at home if sick to help prevent spreading any illness to others.


Union Representatives and staff interact with members and the public on a daily basis, in person, by phone calls, and through email and text messages.

During this uncertain time, Union Representatives are being directed to exercise social distancing when in the workplaces, and if assistance to members can easily be done by a phone call, conference call or email, then this will be considered, to limit possible transmission. We are also sensitive to the fact that many of the Employers are experiencing higher than normal levels of business, making it increasingly difficult to interact with members.

All union staff have been informed that if they feel unwell, they are to immediately cease unit visits. Communication with the membership will be done via phone, text and email.

Situations that require in-person interaction such as negotiations and grievance meetings, will continue as required.

The conditions are changing daily and in some cases scheduled negotiations are now being postponed because of imposed travel and /or work restrictions.


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Your UFCW neighbours on the front line

-The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety has good information about workers and the COVID-19 virus: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/coronavirus.html

-The BC Centre for Disease Control is another good resource for information on COVID-19: https://tinyurl.com/uxzjn6u

-CBC’s Vancouver TV news has a terrific video showing the importance of proper hand-washing with hot water and soap: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/putting-proper-hand-washing-to-the-test-1.5493296

  • ufcw [at] ufcw247 [dot] com