Real People. Real Action.

We’re the United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW), a proud union family of 1.3 million hard-working men and women working together to provide a better life for our families and yours.

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Our union family is building worker and community leaders that will meet the needs and aspirations of working families. We want to strengthen our communities to achieve economic, racial and social justice.

Speak Out.

Our members know that no one should struggle alone. It only takes one conversation to create lasting change that grows power for working people. Join us and amplify the voices of our membership.

Take a Stand.

People who are a part of UFCW have joined together to take back control of their lives. We are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive democracy for our communities and workplaces.

July 15, 2019

UFCW supports striking Amazon Prime Day workers

Amazon warehouse workers in Minneapolis went out on strike at about 3 p.m. on Prime Day to address working conditions at the plant.

There have been protests on Prime Day in Europe in past years, but the action in Minnesota is the first major Prime Day strike for workers in the United States.

In June, Amazon announced it would provide one-day shipping on select items to Prime members, a move that has reportedly pushed many workers past their breaking point.

“With the recent move to one-day Prime shipping, Amazon workers are being forced to meet impossible demands at increasingly unsafe speeds,” said UFCW President Marc Perrone in a statement on the strikes. “We are proud to stand with these brave Amazon workers on Prime Day as they fight for what’s right.”

June 3, 2019

UFCW Members Call on California Legislators to Pass Pro-Worker Agenda

On May 21, members of UFCW Locals 5, 8, 135, 324, 648, 770 and 1167 traveled from across California to Sacramento for their annual lobby day to rally support for policies that strengthen workers and help them and their families succeed. The lobby day was coordinated by the UFCW Western States Council and members visited legislators that represent California’s diverse geography, economy and people. In these meetings, our members shared their firsthand experiences as grocery workers, pharmacists, and workers in California’s burgeoning cannabis industry. They urged lawmakers to support legislation that would:

• Ensure workers who are on strike or locked out by their employers are eligible to collect unemployment insurance benefits, so employees can stand up for justice without fear or losing their homes or having their car repossessed (AB 1066).

• Establish basic safety standards for grocery delivery services, so consumers don’t lose protection from food-borne illnesses when their food leaves the grocery store (AB 1360).

• Protect Californians from unlicensed cannabis businesses, increase transparency in the industry, and lift up legitimate cannabis businesses that abide by safety and labor laws (AB 1417 and SB 581).

• Develop a certification program for produce clerks, service deli clerks and nutrition clerks, providing a pathway to success for workers in a changing grocery industry (AB 1459).

“Having the opportunity to speak directly to my elected legislators helped me understand the difference workers make through our union,” said Marc Zavala, who is a member of UFCW Local 324. “I was encouraged to see that our elected representatives are eager to hear from the working people who are the backbone of California’s economy and are willing to partner with us to enact policies that make real change in workers’ lives.”

UFCW members in California have been hard at work making their voices heard. Earlier in May, members of UFCW Local 1428 joined the growing number of workers speaking out in favor of these bills that put workers and consumers first.

June 3, 2019

UFCW Local 540 Welcomes More Than 400 Danone Workers

On May 22, more than 400 workers at the Danone North America plant in Dallas joined UFCW Local 540 to ensure they have the good pay and working conditions they’ve earned and deserve. Danone is a major food and beverage company with a wide range of products, including the organic milk and coffee creamers produced by these workers.

The Danone workers joined UFCW Local 540 to strengthen job security after several employees were terminated or disciplined without any way to voice their disagreement. The workers were also concerned about favoritism, and not having a fair job-bidding system.

“This is a very good example of how the International union and Local Union staff, in solidarity with global unions, can collaborate and work together for a great victory for the workers,” said UFCW Local 540 President Johnny Rodriguez. “Let’s do it again.”

May 28, 2019

UFCW Calls on Amazon to Put Workers and Consumers Ahead of Profits

UFCW International President Marc Perrone recently called on Amazon to address business practices that put employees and consumers at risk and criticized the company for replacing hard-working humans with robots.

On May 22, ahead of the annual Amazon shareholder meeting in Seattle where a vote was held on resolutions ranging from facial recognition to gender pay equity, Perrone said, “The growing frustration and anger with the way Amazon and Jeff Bezos do business is real. Year after year, Amazon earns billions in profits on the backs of American taxpayers and its own workers, while ignoring the company’s responsibility to do what is right.”

“Today’s shareholder meeting is an opportunity to hold Amazon accountable. These resolutions are about sending a clear message to Amazon and Jeff Bezos that the American people are sick and tired of subsidizing billionaires and huge corporations at the expense of workers and consumers,” Perrone added. “It’s time for companies like Amazon to realize that they succeed because of their workers – not in spite of them.”

Earlier this month, a new report showed that Amazon is rolling out machines to automate the boxing of customer orders, a job held by thousands of its workers. Amazon started adding technology to a handful of warehouses in recent years, which scans goods coming down a conveyor belt and envelops them seconds later in boxes custom-built for each item. The company has considered installing two machines at dozens of warehouses, which would result in more than 1,300 job losses across 55 U.S. fulfillment centers for standard-sized inventory.

Perrone called out Amazon’s continued effort to replace workers with technology, saying, “Jeff Bezos’s vision for our economy is focused on driving up profits at any cost by replacing talented employees with automation. While Amazon is raking in billions in tax cuts from cities desperate for new jobs, the company is ruthlessly working to eliminate the jobs of thousands of its current employees.”

“It’s clear that Jeff Bezos cares more about the bottom line than investing in the hard-working employees who made Amazon a success in the first place. Our nation’s leaders need to wake up and realize that left unchecked, Amazon’s predatory business model will only continue to wipe out thousands of jobs that have powered our economy for decades. Our families and communities deserve better than this,” Perrone added.

 

May 28, 2019

A Strong, New Contract for Food Service Workers in New Jersey

On May 18, about 50 members of UFCW Local 152 who work at Rich Products Corporation in Vineland, N.J., unanimously ratified a new contract that increases wages.

In addition to wage increases, the three-year agreement includes enhanced paid time off utilization and improves job bidding procedures. Rich Products Corporation is a leading supplier and solutions provider to the food service, in-store bakery and retail marketplaces.

Congratulations to our members and the Negotiating Committee, which included Assistant Director of Collective Bargaining Dan Ross and Union Representative Jose Echevarria.

May 28, 2019

Local 1445 Macy’s Workers Strengthen Pay and Health Care in New Contract

UFCW Local 1445 members who work at Macy’s stores across Massachusetts and Rhode Island voted overwhelmingly to approve a new contract on May 19. The new contract, which follows more than four months of negotiations, includes wage increases and strengthens access to affordable health care.

The three-year contract includes continued Sunday premium pay, wage increases, lower health care premiums and access to more performance bonuses. UFCW Local 1445 represents around 1,000 Macy’s workers at stores in Boston, Peabody, Natick, and Braintree in Massachusetts as well as Warwick in Rhode Island. This contract is part of the UFCW’s united coast-to-coast effort to ensure every member receives the good pay and benefits they have earned and are able to build a better life for themselves and their families.

“Macy’s is a company that continues to grow and succeed because we work hard for our customers every day,” said Anne Connelly, who works at the Macy’s store in Braintree. “This contract recognizes what we contribute to the company and will help the hard-working men and women of Macy’s get the better life we’ve earned and deserve.”

“Months of preparation mobilizing the members at Macy’s helped bring out the leadership in our rank and file who took active roles in securing the best contract possible,” said UFCW Local 1445 President Jeff Bollen.

May 20, 2019

A Strong, First Contract for Florida Beef Workers

Members of UFCW Local 1625 who work at Florida Beef in Zolfo Springs, Fla., recently ratified a first contract that improves wages and benefits. The successful negotiations of their first contract comes less than a year after the workers joined UFCW Local 1625 in July 2018.

The three-year contract provides the 58 slaughterhouse workers with guaranteed raises starting with ratification, eligibility to participate in the company’s health insurance plan, as well as six paid holidays and paid vacation. In addition, the company has agreed to make contributions to the 401(k) retirement plans for employees. The company will also provide work boots, gloves and knives at no cost to workers. This is the first slaughterhouse organized by UFCW Local 1625 and the first time these workers have had wage and benefit improvements.

May 20, 2019

Congress Acts to Protect Workers and Families From Discrimination

On May 17, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act of 2019 (H.R. 5), which strengthens protections for workers and families across the country and helps to end discrimination that has impacted so many communities.

UFCW OUTreach chair Michele Kessler praised the action by Congress to pass the bipartisan bill, which was endorsed by the UFCW OUTreach board on March 19.

“Today’s passage of the Equality Act by the House is a powerful step toward a future where millions of LGBTQ Americans and their families no longer have to worry about facing discrimination at work or in their communities,” Kessler said. “Too many Americans live in states with outdated laws that leave our LGBTQ neighbors, friends, and family vulnerable to discrimination.”

Despite major advances in equality, the majority of states still do not have explicit LGBTQ nondiscrimination protection laws. The Equality Act of 2019 would ensure full federal nondiscrimination equality by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to other protected classes, such as race or religion, in existing federal laws.

“Everyone deserves equal access to the employment, housing, and education they need to provide for their families and build a better life,” Kessler added. “We are proud to stand with Americans across the country in support of the Equality Act and urge the Senate to do the right thing and pass this bill immediately.”

May 20, 2019

UFCW Urges Passage of PRO Act to Strengthen Worker Rights

UFCW International President Marc Perrone urged Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act ahead of the House Education and Labor Committee hearing on May 8.  This legislation expands protections for workers to exercise their right to join a union and bargain for better wages and working conditions. These protections include:

• Increasing transparency by requiring employers to post a notice in the workplace of workers’ rights and responsibilities under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
• Authorizing civil monetary penalties to deter violations of the NLRA.
• Improving remedies for workers who are retaliated against for exercising their right to join a union or engage in protected activities—including swift temporary reinstatement, liquidated damages, and the ability to bring cases directly to federal court.
• Expanding coverage of who is deemed an employee under the NLRA to prevent the misclassification of workers as independent contractors.
• Facilitating dispute resolutions by requiring mediation and arbitration procedures to help unions and employers conclude a first agreement.
• Strengthening the right of workers to strike for basic workplace improvements.
• Ensuring that the National Labor Relations Board’s orders are enforced in a timely manner.
• Protecting the right of workers, whether in a union or not, to engage in collective actions, such as employment-related class action litigation.

Perrone’s statement reads as follows:

“As corporations and billionaires continue to thrive, stagnant wages and anti-worker policies around the country are leaving millions of American workers behind.

“We need to rebuild the middle class and reverse decades of income inequality and that starts with unions. For generations, unions have helped hard-working Americans stand together for higher wages, affordable health care, and a secure retirement. The time is now for Congress to pass the PRO Act to protect the rights of workers to join a union and negotiate for the better life they have earned and deserve.”

May 13, 2019

Strengthening Workplace Safety for Our Members in Health Care

Our union has a proud history of keeping members safe and healthy at work. As we build on this legacy, the International’s Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Office is working with locals that represent members in the health care sector to further strengthen workplace safety.

Health care workers make incredible sacrifices every day to provide care for those in need and are more likely than other workers to face violence in the workplace. As more workers in the health care sector join our union family, protecting these hard-working women and men at work is a key priority.

Robyn Robbins, the director of the OSH Office, recently met with UFCW Local 1625 members who work at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in Lakeland, Fla., to help strengthen their workplace safety policies and procedures.

After meeting with workers and listening to their concerns, Robbins made recommendations to build on existing protections and find additional ways to keep our members safe. She recommended creating a joint labor-management workplace safety committee that includes workers and representatives from the local. She also suggested that the center review all its training policies and procedures to strengthen workplace safety and evaluate them for effectiveness.

UFCW Local 1625 President Ed Chambers put these recommendations into action and achieved positive results, including better training and education, improved reporting procedures, and improved communication by the hospital to the public about the importance of creating a safe work environment for caregivers, hospital staff, and the patients and families they serve.

“The reaction from our health care membership has been incredible since we took the lead in workplace safety,” said Chambers. “I’d like to thank the OSH Office for their help and direction. We knew the issues, and Robyn helped us design a remedy and our membership took the ball and ran with it. Now, we have posters throughout the hospital emphasizing the importance of a safe workplace with the UFCW logo on it.”

In addition to helping locals improve or create workplace violence prevention policies and programs, the OSH Office is also supporting the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309), which was introduced by Representative Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) to protect workers from violence on the job. This legislation would require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a clear standard for workplace safety and violence prevention, requiring employers in the health care and social service sectors to develop and implement a plan to protect their employees and keep them safe. For more information, contact Robyn Robbins at rrobbins@ufcw.org or Fernando Tapia at ftapia@ufcw.org.