News and Updates
May 13, 2019
UFCW Local 1428 members recently lobbied California lawmakers in the state capitol in support of legislation that protects good jobs and helps workers. Our members urged legislators to support a wide range of bills, including:
• AB 1066 – Protects unemployment insurance for striking and locked-out workers;
• AB 1459 – Creates certification programs for grocery workers for jobs of the future;
• AB 1360 – Ensures that food delivery drivers are properly trained in food handling requirements that meet grocery store regulations to protect consumers; and
• SB 581 – Strengthens transparency in the cannabis licensing process.
California lawmakers who met with Local 1428 members and staff include State Senators Connie M. Leyva, Maria Elena Durazo and Bobby Archuleta, as well as Assembly Members James C. Ramos, Cottie Petri-Norris, Eloise Reyes, Blanca Rubio, Wendy Carrillo, Ian Calderon, Chris Holden, Miguel Santiago and Freddie Rodriguez.
“Our members help to get lawmakers elected, so when they travel to the state capitol to lobby for work-friendly legislation, those lawmakers take notice and listen since they usually just see corporate lobbyists,” said UFCW Local 1428 President Mark Ramos. “Our members are powerful advocates and messengers for good legislation.”
May 13, 2019
On May 11, UFCW locals turned out in full force to collect non-perishable food made by union members for local food banks as part of the 27th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. This is the fourth year that the UFCW has partnered with the National Association of Letter Carriers to sponsor this campaign, which is the largest single-day food drive in the country.
In the last 25 years with support from UFCW and other organizations, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected 1.5 billion pounds of food that was donated to local food banks and other organizations, helping to feed the more than 46 million Americans who struggle with hunger.
Here are a few images, including a video, from this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive:
May 6, 2019
Across New England, 31,000 UFCW members at Stop & Shop grocery stores won a powerful victory by successfully approving strong new contracts following a historic 11-day walkout to protest cuts to health care, take-home pay, and other benefits.
Members of UFCW Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445 and 1459 in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island ratified the new contracts by an overwhelming margin in votes held April 24 through May 1. The new agreements preserve health care and retirement benefits, provide wage increases, and maintain time-and-a-half pay on Sunday for current members.
Negotiations with Stop & Shop received national attention for being one of the most important work stoppages in the grocery industry in recent memory and a powerful win to protect good jobs.
UFCW Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445 and 1459 worked together throughout negotiations with the company and issued the following joint statement: “We are incredibly grateful to our customers and everyone who proudly stood together with us every day for a contract that invests in the communities we serve and makes Stop & Shop a better place to work and a better place to shop.”
“It’s exciting to be back to normal, but it’s also exciting to know how much our community cares about good jobs,” said Nicole, a UFCW member who works at Stop & Shop. “We’re all a lot stronger now.”
May 6, 2019
On May 2, more than 20,000 members of UFCW Local 7 who work at King Soopers, City Market, Safeway and Albertsons in Colorado and Wyoming ratified new contracts that strengthen pay and protect health care benefits.
The three-year contracts include better wages, including pay raises retroactive to the end of the previous contract; good health care benefits, including better dental benefits; and pension protections for 12,000 retirees and those still working. The contracts also include significant language gains, including safety and protections pertaining to automation and the advancement of technology; credit for military service as work experience; more time off to ensure the safety of victims of domestic abuse or stalking; and easier access to first-day sick leave so food workers can stay healthy on the job. Safeway meat warehouse workers also won significant wage increases, double time on all holidays and the elimination of the entire two-tier system.
“These hard-working women and men stood together for better lives and a better place to work,” said UFCW Local 7 President Kim Cordova. “Together, our new contracts will provide pay raises for every worker, good health care and retirement benefits, and a safer workplace. Making each store a better place to work also makes it a better place to shop. Strong customer service is what made these companies successful and we are pleased these contracts invest in the workers who proudly serve our communities every day.”
May 6, 2019
UFCW Local 1000 members recently hosted eight endorsed Dallas candidates for city council and mayor at local Kroger stores for tours and one-on-one discussions with workers ahead of the city’s May 4 election.
Each candidate spent an hour walking through a store and talking with UFCW Local 1000 members one-on-one about the issues affecting their lives. Candidates learned about the issues our members care about, as well as how critical our union is in representing those members at the workplace and why it’s so important to have a union grocery store in their communities. The events were a way to make sure that local elected officials heard directly from the workers they hope to represent.
Anthony Elmo, political and communications director for UFCW Local 1000, asked that any candidate seeking the union’s endorsement take the time to visit an area worksite so they could hear directly from their membership.
“Elected officials should campaign for votes where hard-working families bring home the bacon,” Elmo said. “They need to meet us on the shop floor and understand our issues.”
Chad West, who won the open seat in Dallas City Council District 1, left the visit with a deeper understanding of our union and the workers we represent.
“It was great getting to talk with people in my district who live and work in this community. The majority of the people in my district are working people and it’s good to know that they have a union like UFCW Local 1000 looking out for their best interests and engaging them in the political process,” West said. “I look forward to working with Local 1000 and representing your membership as a member of the Dallas City Council for years to come.”
One of the most important issues was the paid sick leave ordinance that the Dallas City Council passed by a 10 to 4 vote on April 24, which requires employers to credit their employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work. Members at every stop let the candidates know how they felt about this important issue in advance of the election, and UFCW Local 1000 member Candice Oglesby, who works full-time as a florist at Kroger in Oak Cliff, was interviewed by ABC News 8 about the ordinance.
Local 1000 members played an integral role in pushing for the Dallas ordinance over the last year, working with coalition partners from local unions and community groups. The ordinance is likely to face legal challenges, as well as an attempt by the state legislature to nullify the law, but the hard-fought victory was a huge win for working people in Dallas.
“Paid sick time in Dallas is an amazing victory for grocery workers. Our members will directly benefit from this policy as the new floor for future contract negotiations,” said Elmo.
May 6, 2019
On Wednesday, May 8, we will celebrate National Third Shift Workers Day to honor all of our members who work late and sacrifice sleep to provide for their families and serve their communities across the country.
Whether it’s working through the night to prepare fresh food for the morning, restocking store shelves, or taking care of our loved ones in the hospital, the hard-working men and women of the UFCW who work the third shift provide an incredible value that too often goes unnoticed or is taken for granted.
For many members, working the third shift allows them to make time to further their education and make scheduling easier for family or child care. One of those hard-working night owls focused on going to school is Kathy of UFCW Local 1428 in Southern California, who worked nights so she could get her master’s degree. Her coworker, Sharon, also reminds us that many dedicated employees build their careers working nights – she’s spent the past 35 years as a third shifter. The stability of third shift work allowed her to balance work and family responsibilities. Read more about their story here.
The UFCW is proud to negotiate premium pay for third shift workers to help provide them with the better life they’ve earned and deserve. If your local is hosting an event for National Third Shift Workers Day, please share that information, along with photos, with Julie Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 29, 2019
Protecting the safety and well-being of our members and their families is a core UFCW value and our reach extends beyond the workplace. To keep our members and their families safe, the UFCW has partnered with the National Child Identification Program to provide free child ID kits so that our members have a way to store information about their children and grandchildren in case of an emergency. Locals will receive more information in the next few weeks.
Every 40 seconds, a child is reported missing in the United States, which means that approximately 800,000 children are reported missing each year. When a child goes missing, family members and friends have to gather crucial information, including copies of the child’s fingerprints, when time is of the essence.
These child ID kits, which include a card that has a space for a child’s fingerprints, as well as a current photograph and other descriptive information, will allow our members to gather vital information about their children and grandchildren before an emergency. If a child goes missing, this ID card is readily available to assist law enforcement officials, who can scan the child’s fingerprints into a national database to help quickly locate them.
Let’s keep our members and their families safe by being prepared. If you have any questions or need additional information, contact Erin Ward in the International’s Communication Department at email@example.com.
April 29, 2019
The three-year contract includes guaranteed wage increases, health care protections, and additional paid time off. The Bargaining Committee was also able to add more workplace protections by strengthening the grievance process, securing language around bargaining unit work, and adding another steward to enforce the contract.
“We were successful at the bargaining table because we stuck together in the workplace,” said UFCW Local 700 President Joe Chorpenning. “Our members fought together to reach an agreement that creates more opportunity for Chartwells workers and their families to have a better life.”
April 29, 2019
This year, the UFCW is once again partnering with the National Association of Letter Carriers to sponsor the 27th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, which will take place on Saturday, May 11. This campaign, which is the largest single-day food drive in the country, is an opportunity for UFCW Locals to make a difference in the lives of millions of American families who are suffering from the effects of hunger.
Last year, our union helped to collect millions of pounds of union-made, non-perishable food for local food banks. This year, we are encouraging all UFCW Locals and their members to pitch in by collecting unopened, non-perishable food and placing it in a bag next to their mailbox before their letter carrier delivers their mail on Saturday, May 11.
Help us make this year’s campaign the biggest and most successful yet. You can get more information about the campaign here. You can also contact Amy Ritter for a UFCW Stamp Out Hunger toolkit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together, we can help families struggling to put food on the table and make a positive difference in the communities we proudly serve and call home.
April 29, 2019
UFCW International President Marc Perrone recently condemned Amazon’s use of technology that can automatically fire workers without a human supervisor’s involvement. In response to the new report about the technology, President Perrone released the following statement:
“Who needs real human beings when you have Amazon? It’s one thing for Jeff Bezos and Amazon to use a ruthless business model to destroy jobs for profit, but it is surreal to think that any company could fire their own workers without any human involvement. Is this really the America we want to live and work in?
“It is time for America’s elected leaders, Republicans and Democrats, to wake up to the economic and social damage of Amazon’s business model, and to the fact that Jeff Bezos is determined to destroy what makes America – the people who actually do the work.”