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BLOOMINGTON, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the Inland Empire and surrounding areas adjust to life in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the union representing supermarket and drug store workers has called on shoppers to treat its members with the respect and appreciation they deserve.

“Our union’s members put themselves on the line every day to ensure we have safe, efficient and equitable access to food, medicine and essential goods,” said Joe Duffle, president of Local 1167 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

“They do this in extremely stressful circumstances with panicked shoppers needlessly stripping the shelves and acting rudely to each other as well as the employees.”

Duffle noted that the supply chains for supermarkets and drug stores remain robust and deliveries of products arrive on a daily basis.

“There’s no reason to panic and no reason to hoard,” Duffle said. “There’ll be plenty for everyone if we all shop for the week ahead.”

Duffle praised union employers for working with Local 1167 to safeguard the health of workers and shoppers. Recent improvements include giving seniors and compromised individuals special access to the stores, as well as reducing business hours to allow for proper cleaning and restocking of merchandise.

“But more needs to be done,” he said. “We need more breaks so workers can better clean their hands, better access to gloves and masks when they’re appropriate, and first-day sick leave to encourage workers to stay home at the first sign of not feeling well.”

“Working together, our communities will get through this crisis,” Duffle said. “Let’s treat each other with kindness and civility, keeping in mind we are all neighbors and friends doing the best we can.”


Ellen Anreder
[email protected]