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COVID-19 Cases on the Rise at Major Minnesota Grocery Distributor UNFI

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Teamsters Say the Company Actions May Have Contributed to a Rise in Cases

Press Contact: Tom Erickson Phone: (651) 343-1723 Email: [email protected]

(HOPKINS, MN) – After another confirmed COVID-19 case at the massive United Natural Foods INC (UNFI) warehouse in Hopkins, Teamsters Local 120 is calling on state health officials to step in before the state’s grocery supply is affected. Teamsters Local 120 Business Agent Troy Gustafson says management’s actions in the warehouse may be contributing to the problem.

“Last week, UNFI brought in temporary workers from all over the country to pick orders; literally, from all over the country. To our knowledge, they were not tested or quarantined prior to coming in, and they are not social distancing or following established safety protocols at the warehouse. Now, we are seeing more positive cases arise. If something isn’t done fast this could be the next COVID-19 hotbed in Minnesota, and we could see a major disruption in food supply here,” Gustafson said.

Local 120 President Tom Erickson says there were no confirmed cases at the warehouse two weeks ago. 

“This could escalate quickly if the company doesn’t wake up,” Erickson said. “Instead of following safety protocols, they decided to bring in workers from all over the country, which not only increases the risk of potential exposure to our workers but also amplifies the potential impact on the state’s grocery supply. It’s outrageous and irresponsible. Immediate action must be taken to protect the well-being and safety of our workers.”

As of today there are at least four confirmed diagnoses of COVID-19 at the warehouse, and there are even more possible cases.

Teamsters Local 120 represents nearly 12,000 members in Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota. Fighting for the rights of workers across nearly every industry in the upper Mid-West.