First Alternative Co-op Workers Demand Hazard Pay and No Store Closures!

First Alternative Co-op Manager Cindee Lolik

Demands
  • Hazard pay increase of $3.00 per hour throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including retroactive hazard pay beginning on March 12, 2020.
  • Maintain operations at both locations at current staffing levels and include worker input in all major store decisions.  

Summary

Workers at the First Alternative Natural Foods Cooperative, an essential service for the South and North Corvallis, Oregon neighborhoods, are demanding hazard pay and no store closures in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

We are making these demands in accordance with First Alternative’s mission and guiding principles. Our cooperative’s relationship with the community is one of trust, respect, and integrity. This relationship requires that both stores remain open to the public for the welfare of the community and community members working at the cooperative.  In keeping doors open during this pandemic, the workers are essential to the safety and security of our community.

           In conformity with businesses such as Albertsons, Safeway, QVC, Kroger, Whole Foods, Market of Choice, Trader Joe’s, Target along with the states of Vermont, Minnesota, and others, we deserve hazard pay and job security as we are front-line, essential workers during this crisis. As grocery workers, ourselves and our families are at risk of serious illness.

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the globe, we the workers of the First Alternative Co-op are facing additional pressures due to the nature of our employment.  In light of these challenges we deserve to have our needs met in keeping with the actions of other establishments, while continuing to safely serve our community.

           We, the undersigned, as co-op workers, owners, and community members expect better from our local, progressive, sustainable co-op.

References

Dernbach, Becky Z. “Minnesota and Vermont Just Classified Grocery Clerks as Emergency Workers.” Mother Jones, 19 Mar. 2020, www.motherjones.com/coronavirus-updates/2020/03/minnesota-and-vermont-just-classified-grocery-clerks-as-emergency-workers/.

Peterson, Hayley. “Trader Joe's Is Paying Bonuses to Store Employees amid an 'Unprecedented' Sales Increase, as Some Workers Demand 'Hazard Pay'.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 17 Mar. 2020, www.businessinsider.com/trader-joes-will-pay-bonuses-amid-coronavirus-sales-spike-2020-3.

Repko, Melissa. “Target Pays Bonuses, Hikes Pay by $2 an Hour amid Coronavirus-Induced Surge in Shopping.” CNBC, CNBC, 20 Mar. 2020, www.cnbc.com/2020/03/20/target-pays-bonuses-increases-pay-by-2-an-hour-as-coronavirus-causes-surge-in-shopping.html.

United Food and Commercial Workers. “Grocery Store Workers' Unions and Kroger Announce New Deal for Hazard Pay.” UFCW 21, UFCW 21, 21 Mar. 2020, www.ufcw21.org/news/2020/3/20/grocery-store-workers-unions-and-kroger-announce-new-deal-for-hazard-pay.

Petition by
FirstAlt Workers
Corvallis, Oregon

To: First Alternative Co-op Manager Cindee Lolik
From: [Your Name]

Workers at the First Alternative Natural Foods Cooperative, an essential service for the South and North Corvallis, Oregon neighborhoods, are demanding hazard pay and no store closures in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We, the undersigned, as co-op workers, owners, and community members expect better from our local, progressive, sustainable co-op.