News and Updates
December 4, 2017
This video is part of a series of “how to” tips from UFCW members who are experts in their fields. In addition to Michelle’s tips about how to create a beautiful topiary, the series features expert advice from a UFCW butcher, produce clerk, prep cook, cake decorator and makeup artist.
November 15, 2017
Rocky Mountain High cannabis workers in Durango, Montrose, and Carbondale, Colorado, voted to join UFCW Local 7 by an overwhelming margin on Nov. 6. These locations include two of the company’s grow facilities. The 25 workers wanted a voice in the workplace and the same benefits as their 32 colleagues at four Rocky Mountain High cannabis dispensaries in Denver, who joined UFCW Local 7 in September.
The Rocky Mountain High workers joined UFCW Local 7 because they were concerned about pay increases, health benefits, and a safer workplace. The workers also wanted to reduce high turnover and have a path to a career. Many of the workers also expressed an interest in the UFCW’s Free College Benefit.
November 13, 2017
This video is part of a series of “how to” tips from UFCW members who are experts in their fields. In addition to Michelle’s tips about how to create a beautiful centerpiece for the holidays, the series features expert advice from a UFCW butcher, produce clerk, prep cook, cake decorator and makeup artist.
November 13, 2017
The UFCW Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Office recently convened a health and safety “train the trainer” program in Chicago for union representatives, staff, and stewards from 12 UFCW local unions.
The UFCW “train the trainer” programs on safety and health have taken place across the country since December 2011. This program provides participants with the necessary technical and leadership skills to actively participate in injury and illness prevention efforts in their workplaces, and conduct brief trainings at their locals or worksites.
UFCW Locals 7, 9, 23, 75, 227, 540, 555, 881, 1208, 1473, 1546 and 1776 participated in the training in Chicago, which was held in Spanish and English, and Region 6 Director Tish Ramirez opened the program. Of the 20 trainers that participated in the program, 10 were seasoned trainers from past “train the trainer” sessions, and 10 were new to the program.
“The most important thing I have learned over the years from these trainings is how important it is to speak up about safety and health in the workplace,” said Rodney Ryks, a member of UFCW Local 9 and a seasoned trainer.
“Through this program, lives are saved, injuries and illnesses prevented, and our union becomes stronger,” said Robyn Robbins, director of the UFCW OSH Office.
November 13, 2017
On Nov. 6, approximately 4,200 members of UFCW Local 400, who work at 39 Kroger stores in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky, voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new contract. The contract, which takes effect immediately and extends through August 29, 2020, provides increased pay and maintains healthcare and retirement benefits.
Contract negotiations between UFCW Local 400 and Kroger began in early September, and a team of five Kroger employees led negotiations on behalf of the union. At a time when many retailers are cutting healthcare and retirement benefits, the unionized workforce successfully preserved their benefits while also winning wage increases. The workers attribute their success to weeks of public demonstrations held during the negotiation process.
“I think we made it clear to the company that we were willing to fight to protect our benefits,” said Tami Faulknier, a 34-year Kroger employee who served on the union negotiating team.
“Our customers were overwhelmingly supportive and I think that helped a lot,” said Allen Nuckels, a Kroger grocery clerk from Oak Hill, West Virginia. “I lost count of how many times someone saw us at a rally and stopped to ask me, ‘Are you guys on strike? Because I won’t cross a picket line!’”
“These days, it is extremely rare to ratify a contract without losing a single benefit,” said UFCW Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “I cannot overstate how much the support of Kroger customers and the rest of the community made a difference in these negotiations. Together, we were able to preserve healthcare and retirement benefits that thousands of hard-working men and women rely on.”
November 6, 2017
On Nov. 2, the UFCW helped to draw attention to pay disparities for Latinas on Latina Equal Pay Day.
Although Latinas make substantial contributions to the U.S. economy, they have the largest wage gap, typically earning only 54 cents for every dollar earned by White, non-Hispanic men. Latinas must work more than 22 months to earn what White men earn in 12 months. This disparity in pay hurts not only Latinas, but also has a significant impact on the families and communities they support.
To help raise awareness about this wage gap, the UFCW joined the Twitter storm on Nov. 2. Our tweets reached over 50,000 people, and were retweeted hundreds of times. UFCW International Secretary-Treasurer Esther López also wrote about how we can work together to make a better life for Latinas working in the U.S. in an op-ed in Bustle, which was published on Latina Equal Pay Day.
“There exists a sure-fire way for Latina women to earn the better wages they deserve: joining a union in their industry. Latina women who have joined a union earn more than their non-union counterparts — $242 more per week, in fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” López wrote.
You can read the entire op-ed here.
November 6, 2017
Region 1 held its second NLRB Organizer Training Session for new and experienced organizers in Providence, Rhode Island, on Oct. 24 to 26. Region staff and organizers from UFCW Locals 328, 371, 888, 919, 1445 and 1459 participated in the training, which was hosted in the offices of UFCW Local 328.
The Region 1 organizers learned about the NLRB process, the rights protected by the NLRB, and how to combat anti-union company campaigns. Organizers also learned about messaging and how to create strong campaign literature. This is the second training for organizers held in Region 1 this year, the first of which was held on Long Island in January. These trainings are part of an ongoing effort to provide more professional development for local organizing staff.
November 6, 2017
Local 770 hosted a free health and safety training in Spanish for worker and community leaders on Oct. 10, 17 and 24 at the Ricardo F. Icaza Workers’ Center in Huntington Park, California.
The training session was held in partnership with the UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program, and provided participants with the necessary technical and leadership skills to actively participate in injury and illness prevention efforts in their workplaces and communities. Over 20 people, including workers from Farmer John, Palisades Ranch, the CLEAN Carwash campaign, Instituto de Educacion Popular del Sur de California, and community health promoters participated in the trainings and 18 participants graduated as Worker Occupational Safety and Health Specialists.
November 6, 2017
The “Better Deal” proposal on collective bargaining seeks to create a mandatory mediation and arbitration process to ensure corporations and newly formed unions reach a first contract. The proposal strengthens penalties on predatory corporations that violate workers’ rights, and combats misclassification of workers as supervisors and independent contractors. The proposal also strengthens the right of workers to strike for basic workplace improvements, including higher wages and better working conditions, bans state laws that undermine worker freedoms to join together and negotiate, and provides millions of public employees with the freedom to join a union and collectively bargain with their employers.
The proposal also seeks to streamline the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) procedures to secure worker freedoms and effectively prevent violations, protect the integrity of union elections against coercive captive audience meetings, and use federal purchasing power and policy to help expand opportunities to negotiate.
Perrone’s statement reads as follows:
“We must build an economy that works for all – not just those at the top. By strengthening the collective voice and negotiating rights of workers, the better deal proposal on collective bargaining begins to do just that.
“Our hope is that every member of Congress will support these more modern workplace policies because this is about more than unions, this is about helping their constituents and all hard-working men and women who have earned the right to a better life.”
October 30, 2017
UFCW members, as well as our brothers and sisters at the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union (BCTGM), have been hard at work to make sure there are plenty of union-made candies for all those trick-or-treaters.