October 18, 2012

UFCW Members and Locals Mobilize for Working Families in 2012 Election

UFCW members have been kicking it into high gear! Across the country, members and their locals are working hard to ensure that working families’ voices are heard in this election.

Here’s a quick look at some members in action:

In Kentucky, union members and others in the community are supporting Democrat Charlie Hoffman for the 62nd House District. Up until two years ago, Hoffman had effectively represented his jurisdiction since 1997, but was edged out in the last election by newcomer Ryan Quarles.  Voters who sympathize with workers rights know that bringing back Hoffman is the right choice.  Having spent years as a career meat-cutter at Kroger, Hoffman knows what its like for the average American worker, and puts those values first. When he was in office, he proved to be an effective legislator, capable of working across party lines, and pressed for laws that benefited small farmers and other local workers.  The incumbent Quarles however, has not passed any such laws, and has not proved himself to be an advocate of working Americans.

In Michigan, union members are from across the state are drumming up support for Proposal 2.  Currently, Michigan state law requires public employees to pay 20% of their healthcare costs, a policy that highlights how the public sector has been shifting healthcare costs on to its employees.  Also, collective bargaining is limited for many workers, making the ability to fight for fair wages and safe equipment, among other things, very difficult.  If Proposition 2 is approved this year, it will help to protect jobs and families. UFCW members like Kristy Geldersma, an employee at Meijer have been out door knocking and phone banking to build support for this legislation that will strengthen the ability for unions to collectively bargain.

On October 9th, Obama supporters gathered for a rally in Dayton, Ohio.  UFCW Local 75 and 1059 members were in attendance, along with many others, to support candidates like State House Rep. Roland Winburn. The candidates support keeping jobs in Ohio and also investing and expanding vocational and technical training in the state to keep Ohio’s workforce competitive and growing. Continuing the support after the rally, members canvassed in nearby areas. Their message was about their main goal:  to not become a right to work state. They’re also reminding their friends and neighbors that President Obama is standing up for people to have a union voice on the job, while Mitt Romney does not support people having a voice at work.