Topics: News, Press

UFCW Essential Workers Support Jessica Martinez for Appointment as Next Cal/OSHA Chief

Sacramento, CA – The 180,000 essential worker members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council in California today announced their union is strongly backing Jessica Martinez to be appointed as the next leader of California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).

“UFCW members in California wholeheartedly support Jessica Martinez to become the next Chief of Cal/OSHA,” said Andrea Zinder, president, UFCW Western States Council and UFCW Local 324. “Our members have spent the last 20+ months on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and know just how important Cal/OSHA’s nation-leading regulations were to keeping workers, their families, their coworkers and the public safe. Jessica Martinez’s more than 18 years of leadership experience in the non-profit, labor and university sector promoting occupational safety and health make her undoubtedly qualified for the position and we know she will help strengthen the agency to ensure workers are kept safe.”

“Cal/OSHA’s critical role in California’s workplaces has never been clearer than right now as we look to a future where COVID-19 is here to stay,” said Joe Duffle, president, UFCW Local 1167. “Frontline workers like UFCW members have seen just how rapidly COVID-19 infections spread in California’s workplaces and how workers paid the price for these outbreaks with their health and lives. That’s why it’s essential Cal/OSHA have a strong leader at the helm to keep workers safe as they do their job. We know Jessica Martinez will empower workers and ensure their health and wellbeing isn’t put at risk when they clock into work, and that’s why we’re standing behind her in support.”

“UFCW members fought hard this year to pass SB 606 (Gonzalez) to ensure Cal/OSHA has the resources it needs to keep workers safe, but we know this essential legislation will only be as strong as its leader is,” said Amber Baur, executive director, UFCW Western States Council. “Jessica Martinez’s experience at the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health has shown she has the ability and passion to engage workers as leaders to win critical improvements in workplaces and communities, with a particular focus on immigrants, people of color, women and youth. As a union whose membership is made up of women of color, we look forward to working with Jessica Martinez as California’s next Cal/OSHA chief to continue incorporating the voices we don’t often hear.” 

# # #


November 23, 2021

CONTACT: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, [email protected]