Commissioner Quarles, United Food Commercial Workers 227 Urge Beshear Administration To Prioritize Workers
Joint Letter Requests Reasonable Accommodations To Protect Supply Chain and Food Processing Workers
FRANKFORT, KY (April 22, 2020) – Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles and United Food Commercial Workers 227 president Bob Blair sent a letter to the Beshear Administration today requesting increased access to resources that will protect workers at Kentucky’s food processing facilities around the state.
“During the global pandemic, farmers and workers are joining together to provide food for our state and nation,” said Commissioner Quarles. “Our processing facilities have done a great job of adapting to this new reality to continue producing food and protecting workers. However, members of United Food Commercial Workers 227 are on the front lines of this pandemic, turning raw agricultural goods into food products for Kentuckians. We need to make sure these critical workers have a place in line for testing and appropriate personal protective equipment as both become available. Additionally, I am calling for the Administration to extend childcare benefits for these front line workers similar to what is available to first responders and grocery store employees. These hardworking Kentuckians are sacrificing a lot to feed us and they deserve these reasonable accommodations.”
United Food Commercial Workers 227 represents more than 25,000 workers employed in Kentucky’s food processing, retail, and other sectors. UFCW 227 president Bob Blair echoed Commissioner Quarles’ concern about the safety of employees.
“UFCW 227 members are working hard to make sure that our food supply system remains stable,” Blair said. “We need to do everything in our power to protect and support our hard working members as they continue to produce the food Kentucky families need. I thank Commissioner Quarles for joining UFCW 227 in this effort.”
- Per Centers for Disease Control guidelines, allow for increased access to testing as it becomes available;
- A place in line for the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as it becomes available; and
- Extension of childcare service benefits for these front line workers similar to first responders and grocery store employees.
The joint letter from Commissioner Quarles and President Blair includes the following requests of the state:
To download the letter, click here.