Almost 800 Albertsons Distribution Workers Demand Better COVID-19 Protections
(TEXAS & ARIZONA)—Almost 800 Teamsters who work at Albertsons’ [NYSE: ACI] Southwest and Southern distribution centers are participating in “just practicing” picketing today. The actions protest the company’s refusal to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines and federal labor law.
The 800 drivers and warehouse workers, who service over 200 grocery stores in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Texas are concerned that the company’s failure to fully comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines and its refusal to provide information about the company’s COVID-19 safety plan is putting the safety of workers, their families and the communities they service at risk.
At the Albertsons distribution center in Tolleson, Arizona, which services over 175 stores including Safeway in Arizona and New Mexico, Vons in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Albertsons in Arizona, New Mexico, Southern Utah and El Paso, Texas, drivers and warehouse workers represented by Teamsters Local Union 104 report that the company is refusing to allow for social distancing in the company’s warehouse and refusing to provide an adequate amount of quarantine and emergency sick leave pay to workers that are required to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.
“Since the pandemic began, our brave members have worked up to 14 hours a day, six days a week to keep grocery stores stocked and provide food to our communities,” said Russell Medigovich, Business Agent with Teamsters Local 104. “We expect Albertsons to follow the recommendations of public health experts to protect frontline workers and their families. If Albertsons continues to put our Teamster brothers and sisters at risk, we are prepared to take on that fight.”
At Albertsons’ Dallas distribution center located in Roanoke, Texas, 78 Randalls, Tom Thumb, and El Rancho Supermercado drivers and spotters represented by Teamsters Local 745 report that the company is failing to comply with COVID-19 guidelines, including providing workers with adequate supply of personal protective equipment and deep cleaning vehicles presumably contaminated with COVID-19. Several workers report that they have been forced to supply their own PPE and cleaning supplies to stay safe at work. In addition, Albertsons is currently refusing to provide Teamsters Local 745 with a COVID-19 safety plan for the facility, in violation of federal labor laws.
“Albertsons is raking in huge profits from COVID-19, but it’s our members who are risking their lives and those of their families by working up to 14-hour shifts, six to seven days a week for the past eight months to keep market shelves stocked,” said Brent Taylor, Secretary-Treasurer and Business Managerof Teamsters Local 745. “It’s outrageous that Albertsons is refusing to provide us with the information we need to protect our members.”
Albertsons operates more than 2,200 stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under 20 brands including Albertsons, Randalls, Safeway, Tom Thumb and Vons. During the pandemic, Albertsons has almost tripled its profits, raising its operating profits by 182 percent from $355 million in Q2 of 2019 to $1.0 billion in Q2 of 2020.
Albertsons employs roughly 270,000 employees, including approximately 185,000 covered by collective bargaining agreements. The Teamsters represent over 11,000 Albertsons distribution, warehouse, dairy and food processing workers.