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    News and Updates

May 6, 2019

Dallas UFCW Members Host Local Candidates for Kroger Tour

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

Honoring Late Night Workers Across the Country

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 janderson@ufcw.org.

April 29, 2019

New Partnership Helps Keep Families and Kids Safe

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 eward@ufcw.org.

April 29, 2019

Local 700 Workers in Indianapolis Get a Raise With New Contract

Members of UFCW Local 700 who work at Chartwells Food Service in Indianapolis recently ratified a new contract that includes better wages and protects benefits.

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

One Simple Way to Give Back to Your Community – Stamp Out Hunger

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 aritter@ufcw.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 Responds to Amazon’s Use of Technology to Fire Workers

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.”

April 22, 2019

Higher Pay and Strong Health Care in New Local 1776KS Contract

Members of UFCW Local 1776KS who work at Knouse Foods in Peach Glen, Pa., recently ratified a new contract that raises wages and protects health care benefits.

The three-year agreement includes wage increases, improved nondiscrimination language, additional paid sick time, and locks in current health care rates. Knouse Foods members make a variety of products, including Lucky Leaf pie fillings and Musselman’s Applesauce.

April 22, 2019

Big Win for Local 227 Members at Kroger in Kentucky and Indiana

Pay increases for members of UFCW Local 227 who work at Kroger in Kentucky and southern Indiana have been approved thanks to a new contract that was ratified on April 18.

The four-year agreement, which covers more than 13,500 members, boosts pay for cashiers, new workers, and veteran stock clerks, and creates new leadership positions in selected parts of the stores. Health care benefits will also be available for part-time workers and new hires. The new contract also protects the workers’ pensions. Full-time hourly Kroger workers can become vested after five years and part-time members also get a pension if they average 72.5 hours a month.

“It’s the best contract I’ve seen in years,” said Kroger employee and UFCW Local 227 member Elisa Messex in an interview with The Louisville Courier Journal.


April 16, 2019

Standing Together With Stop & Shop Workers

As negotiations with Stop & Shop continue in New England, the International is urging all locals and their allies to support the 31,000 members of our union family who work at Stop & Shop as they stand together for a contract that recognizes their hard work and dedication.

On April 11, these brave women and men, who are members of UFCW Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445, and 1459, walked off their jobs at over 240 Stop & Shop stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island to protest the company’s proposed drastic and unreasonable cuts to health care and retirement benefits and take-home pay. They are also protesting Stop & Shop’s unfair labor practices, including refusing to provide our union with financial information to verify the company’s claim that cutting benefits was necessary to stay “competitive.” In addition to hurting our members’ ability to support their families, the proposed cuts by Stop & Shop, whose parent company earned $2 billion in profits in 2018, would also have a negative and severe impact on customer service by impacting the very cashiers, stockers, bakers, deli clerks, and butchers that Stop & Shop customers rely on.

These hard-working members of our union family have been trying to negotiate a fair contract with Stop & Shop since Jan. 14 and deserve better. Since the work stoppage, staff members from the International have coordinated with locals, allies, community groups, politicians, Stop & Shop customers and members of the press so that our members know they are supported during this difficult time. One of the materials the International has created is an online solidarity petition, so that we can show Stop & Shop that support for these workers is building. You can sign this petition here. You can also read a joint statement from the five UFCW locals regarding the fight for a fair contract here. All locals will be getting an appeal for hardship funds in the coming days.

By standing together, we can show Stop & Shop that it’s time to reach a fair contract agreement that reflects the true value of our members.


April 16, 2019

THRIVE Network Workers Join Local 888 for a Better Life

On April 5, 470 direct support professionals at THRIVE Network in Brooklyn and Queens, N.Y., joined UFCW Local 888 for better wages, benefits and a voice in the workplace. THRIVE Network is a social services agency dedicated to meeting the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families who are in need of crucial services to enhance their lives.

THRIVE Network workers wanted to join UFCW Local 888 because they were concerned about staffing issues, not being paid their worth and justice center investigations with no representation. In addition, the workers had been denied the cost of living adjustment increase designated by the state of New York for all direct support professionals.

THRIVE Network workers were enthusiastic about joining our union family.

“You do not know how bad we needed this union! 8-8-8! This is a real union!” said Crystal Stephenson.

“Yay, we did it! We look forward to contract negotiations!” said Melissa Kirk.

“Congratulations to all THRIVE Network workers for coming together and voting in favor of their best interest,” said UFCW Local 888 Director of Organizing Marshall Paris. “Local 888 welcomes you to our Healthcare Division family with open arms. We look forward to unifying everyone to negotiate a union agreement that addresses all your issues.”