February 27, 2013
Last Wednesday, UFCW members and staff from UFCW Locals 75, 1059, and the RWDSU gathered to speak out against right-to-work legislation during a lobby day in Columbus, Ohio. Following trainings with UFCW local union and International staff on lobbying best practices, UFCW members went into their meetings with their state representatives and state senators.
“Reaching out to our legislators regarding issues important to working families is one of the most valuable things we can do,” said Local 1059 member Travis Long who works at Kroger. “It was great this year, and I look forward to more opportunities in the future.”
Both veterans of past lobby days and first-timers reported they had a positive experience. Many legislators requested more information on UFCW issues and several scheduled follow-up meetings back home in their districts to continue the dialogue with UFCW members.
Also that day, hundreds of UFCW Local 75 and 227 members educated their legislators about “no rights at work” legislation during a lobby day in Frankfort, Ky. Speaker Pro Temp. Larry Clark welcomed UFCW members to the Capitol and spoke against “no rights at work”.
The following day UFCW allies in the House Labor and Industry Committee exposed the flawed arguments of “no rights at work” proponents. Members also stood in solidarity with their brothers and sisters from the Kentucky Trades against an effort to remove prevailing wage from school projects.
Members ended the day with thank you letters to the legislators they had visited, along with “sorry I missed you” notes to legislators they were not able to reach. “Lobby day is a time for legislators to hear what is important to UFCW members,” said Jeff Pleasant, assistant chief steward at JBS. “Our lobby day has grown every year, and we will continue to fight to keep ‘no rights at work’ out of our state.”