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February 10, 2014

UFCW Minority Coalition Kicks Off Trailblazers Publication with Tribute to Addie Wyatt

November 21, 2013

Immigrant Farmworkers, Labor Leaders and Immigration Advocates to the Republican House: “Do Your Jobs” on Immigration

Advocates Deliver Immigrant Processed Turkeys, Merlot and Fact Sheets to Speaker Boehner, Steve King and Other Key GOP Members; Remind Them Who’s Working Hard for America While They’re Taking More Days Off

 

turkeysWashington, DC – While Congress has been busy voting to repeal Obamacare forty-seven times, blaming the President for [insert anything here], taking 198 days off (including 32 of the final 40 days in 2013 as of today), complaining about having to read too many pages of legislation, and whining about “not having enough time” to do anything productive in 2013, millions of immigrant workers have been working day in and day out to help put Thanksgiving dinner on the tables of millions of Americans.

Today, immigrant farmworkers, labor leaders and immigration advocates launched the “Do Your Jobs” campaign as a reminder to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and the rest of the House Republican caucus about who is actually working hard for America and who needs to step it up.

According to Esther Lopez, Director of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union’s (UFCW) Civil Rights and Community Action Department, “At the UFCW, we are proud to put food on America’s table, not just on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year. Our members work hard—often in difficult conditions—to provide an excellent product for their customers and communities.  UFCW members are doing their jobs. It is time for Congress to do the same. Give us a vote on comprehensive immigration reform.”

As a send-off to Congress before they take their two-week Thanksgiving break, advocates delivered turkeys processed by immigrants to Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA), Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and other targeted Republican Members to remind them about the back-breaking work immigrants and others do in America every single day (see below for a full list of Members of Congress who received deliveries).

As a special touch, Boehner received an immigrant-harvested bottle of merlot wine (his favorite).  Volunteers from each organization also handed out fact sheets to key Members of Congress, outlining the hard work that immigrants do to harvest produce, process meats, prepare foods, clean houses, and complete the numerous other jobs necessary to set our nation’s Thanksgiving tables while Members of Congress enjoy their two-week break (see the fact sheet here).

Giev Kashkooli, National Vice President of United Farm Workers (UFW) delivered turkeys and wine alongside two immigrant grape growers from the Yakima Valley in Washington, providing a face behind the hard work that goes into providing Speaker Boehner with the wine he adores.

As one of the growers, Adelaida Mendoza, UFW member from Mabton, Washington, said at today’s press conference, “It takes a lot of hard work to produce the grapes that make Merlot wine. From January when we begin to prune the vines early in the morning in 20 degree weather‎ through the harvest season in the summer heat when poisonous snakes are regular visitors at our feet  to now when we prepare the ground for the next year, the work is difficult. Now, we ask Speaker Boehner and the Republican House Leaders to Do Your Job. How can Speaker Boehner let Republicans take 32 of the next 40 days off when our country needs immigration reform?”

Added Maria Ramirez, UFW member and immigrant grape harvester from Benton, Washington, “‎Our work is difficult but we love doing this work producing wine that so many  Americans enjoy. I am here today because the struggle that our families have to win a new immigration process is so important. We have done our job so others can enjoy wine. Now, we want Speaker Boehner and Republican leaders to do their job.”

Thus far, instead of actually doing something to address immigration (an issue that’s been debated for decades), Speaker Boehner has found nearly every excuse in the book to avoid actually doing his job by tackling this issue and the many others he’s left on the table.  The only immigration vote the Speaker found time to schedule this year was on a Rep. Steve King (R-IA) amendment to deport DREAMers and others, yet so far he hasn’t found the 20 minutes needed to vote on an immigration proposal that the vast majority of Americans support.

“Immigrants show up for work and do their jobs. House members show up at the Capitol but do not do their jobs. Instead, they play politics with our lives,” said Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota. “If House members do not pass commonsense immigration reform with a path to citizenship, they will suffer the consequences next November. It’s as simple as that. The House can act today or face the consequences tomorrow.”

Donations were also made in the name of the Republican Members who did not receive turkeys today as well as the immigrant workers who produced these products to a local area food bank.

Said Andrea Zuniga, Legislative Representative of the AFL-CIO, “Each day Speaker Boehner delays immigration reform workers pay the price with stolen wages, unsafe working conditions and threats of deportation if they try to organize. Many of these workers will not have the luxury of spending Thanksgiving with their families- they will be working extra shifts to make ends meet or praying for family members that have been deported. It’s time for Speaker Boehner to give us a vote and fix our broken immigration system in a manner that protects all workers.”

“Immigrant workers spend hours preparing and harvesting the food that we eat every day.  While Speaker Boehner and other House Republicans are enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with their families, immigrants are facing permanent separation from their families—all because the House Republican leadership will not act.  Our message is simple: do the right thing.  Pass immigration reform to let these hardworking immigrants become hardworking Americans, said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice.

This new campaign is follow-up to the “Take Our Jobs” campaign of 2010 where United Farm Workers invited American workers to step into the shoes of an immigrant farmworker.  Stephen Colbert and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) took up the offer and witnessed firsthand the difficulties of doing this backbreaking labor.  As millions of immigrants continue their hard work to contribute to our country, we’re just asking that Congress do the same.

 

In August, leaders from UFW, America’s Voice and United We Dream responded to comments from Steve King about DREAMers having “calves the size of cantaloupes” by delivering sweet American-grown and immigrant harvested cantaloupes to all the 224 Members who voted in favor of Steve King’s amendment to deport DREAMers.  Just as House leadership gave Steve King his vote, leaders demanded that Speaker Boehner schedule their vote on citizenship as well.

Fact Sheet: Do Your Jobs.We work hard for America. When will you work for us?

List of Members’ Offices Receiving Deliveries:

 

Receiving Turkey, Merlot and Fact Sheets:

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)

 

Receiving Turkeys and Fact Sheets:

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)

Rep. Steve King (R-IA)

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA)

 

Receiving Fact Sheets and a Donation to a Local Food Back in theirs and an Immigrant Workers Name:

Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO)

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC)

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY)

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY)

Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV)

Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA)

Rep. Scot Tipton (R-CO)

Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL)

 

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November 20, 2013

JBS Workers Vote for a Union Voice on the Job with UFCW Local 1776

JBS workers in Souderton, Pa., voted to join UFCW Local 1776 to have a union voice on the job.

JBS workers in Souderton, Pa., voted to join UFCW Local 1776 to have a union voice on the job.

This work, about 200 workers in a JBS rendering plant in Souderton, Pa., overwhelmingly voted for a union voice on the job with UFCW Local 1776.

“I have been a driver at JBS for three years and one reason why I wanted a union was to have better health insurance for my family. When it came time to vote, I stood with my co-workers and voted union ‘yes’,” said JBS worker Tony Serra.

The workers began campaigning to join a union at the beginning of this year. During the campaign, UFCW Locals 23, 204, 1994, and 1208 sent member activists to help UFCW Local 1776 members and JBS workers to handbill, hold worker-to-worker and member-to-worker meetings, and perform home calls to show solidarity and have a successful election. Many of the workers have been part of a union before and understand the power that workers have when they stand together.

Contract negotiations are set to begin immediately in order to run parallel with negotiations for the UFCW Local 1776 JBS beef plant workers. Respect on the job and protecting healthcare benefits are top priorities for workers.

October 31, 2013

Can’t Have Gluten? UFCW Members Make Tasty Treats You Can Eat

Local 1776 Members with one of the many gluten-free Wise Chips products they make!

Local 1776 Members with one of the many gluten-free Wise Chips products they make!

Gluten is found in many staple foods of our western diet, and for people who have Celiac Disease (that’s one out of every 133 people in the US) and gluten-allergies, it may sometimes be difficult to find a large variety of foods that they enjoy.

But did you know that UFCW Local 1776 members make over 40 different Wise Chips products that are gluten free? Now you can enjoy a range of yummy snacks that are gluten-free AND union-made, so you can support your health and your union at the same time!

Check out the list of products and nutritional info for more details.

October 9, 2013

UFCW Activists Arrested at Massive Immigration March

The four UFCW activists arrested yesterday.

The four UFCW activists arrested yesterday.

Washington, DC—Four UFCW activists were among those arrested yesterday outside the U.S. Capitol while protesting the failure of House Republican leaders to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. The march, which included tens of thousands of people from across the country, followed over 180 similar actions in 40 states this weekend.

“Today we sent a message to House Republicans loud and clear,” UFCW President Joe Hansen said. “First and foremost, open this government. Secondly, once it is open, give us a vote on comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.”

In an op-ed in the Huffington Post last week, Hansen laid out the case for reform. “We want to give aspiring citizens an opportunity to achieve the American Dream,” he said. “We want full rights and protections for immigrant workers. We want fairness and justice. We want an immigration policy that reflects our values. Speaker Boehner, we want a vote.”

The UFCW activists who were arrested spoke about the power of civil disobedience and the importance of standing together for comprehensive immigration reform.

Efrain Aguilera of UFCW Local 5 in San Jose, CA said: “I’m a Hispanic born in Michoacán, Mexico who came to this country legally but without knowing a word of English. The immigrant community has to struggle to find work and when it does, they face humiliation because of being undocumented and live in fear of being deported and separated from their families. Getting arrested for civil disobedience is the least I can do to support this great cause. We need comprehensive immigration reform now so that more than 11 million undocumented immigrants can get out of the shadows, work legally, pay taxes and stop being treated like second class citizens.”

Rigo Valdez of UFCW Local 770 in Los Angeles, CA said: “I was arrested today to stand up for the workers who cannot stand up for themselves. In twenty years of organizing, I have witnessed exploitation of workers because of their immigration status. We can no longer allow the abuse of any workers in our country, and must fight and demand that all of us are treated with dignity and according to our rights. Comprehensive immigration reform is not only morally right, but necessary to guarantee the long term economic and social health of our nation. If our lawmakers will not act, then we will.”

Celestino Rivera of UFCW Local 540 in Dallas, TX said: “I was arrested today because I stand with America’s meatpacking and food processing workers to demand that Congress fix our broken immigration system. I have witnessed the price of keeping working families in the shadows.  All workers should be able to exercise their fundamental rights on the job, regardless of immigration status. Now is the time for reform that preserves and protects these rights.”

Idalid Guerrero of UFCW Local 540 in Dallas, TX said: “I came to Washington today as both a worker and a mother. I know firsthand that women bear a huge burden because of our broken immigration system. We deserve reform that is humane and just and keeps families together. I was arrested in solidarity with all immigrant women who are calling on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform now.”

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The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org, or join our online community at www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational and www.twitter.com/ufcw.

 

August 18, 2013

UFCW Union Made Facebook Contest Winners Announced

One of the winning photos from the UFCW Made Facebook Contest - photo by George Wilson.

One of the winning photos from the UFCW Made Facebook Contest – photo by George Wilson.

Earlier this year, UFCW launched a photo contest to highlight UFCW made products and members at work. We asked members and staff to post pictures on our Facebook app of themselves or their co-workers or members–on the job or with the products we make.

Congratulations to the winners of our contest! We will be contacting our winners about their prizes shortly. We’ll also post the winning pictures soon.

These members and staff got the most votes for their terrific photos, and have won the following in order of most votes received:

First Place: Paula, Local 770 Santa Barbara, winning a $500 grocery gift card

Second Place: Dawne, Local 880, winning a $250 grocery gift card

Third Place: Cole Edwards, Local 1189, winning a $250 grocery gift card

Fourth Place:  Mary Brown, Local 1428, winning a UFCW Bonded Fleece Jacket

Fifth Place:  Diane Johnson, Local 770, winning a UFCW T-shirt

Sixth Place: George Wilson, Local 23, winning a UFCW travel mug

Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to all who posted, voted, shared, and sent in pictures–we’ll be posting many of your pictures on Facebook and on our website in the weeks and months to come!

August 1, 2013

New Campbell’s Soup Production Line Means More Jobs for UFCW Local 540

540 CampbellOn Monday, UFCW Local 540 members celebrated the opening of a new production line at the Campbell’s Soup plant in Paris, Texas. The 76,000 square foot addition to the plant will house the new ready to eat production line and will create 70 new jobs. The plant in Paris is the second Campbell’s plant to produce packaged fresh soups. The packaged fresh soups are ready-to-eat like the Campbell’s canned soups, but they are made using a specialized cooking method.

Currently the plant has about 800 workers. The workers and the good relationship between UFCW Local 540 members and the company directly played a part in the Paris plant being selected to have the new production line. Campbell’s Paris plant also makes Campbell’s condensed soups, Prego Italian sauces, Pace Mexican sauces and V8 juices.

July 1, 2013

Union-Made Fourth of July

What’s more patriotic than celebrating Independence day with made-in-America, union-made products? Supporting good American jobs is easy–just refer to this union-made shopping list for your BBQ or get-together, brought to you by Labor 411 and the AFL-CIO!

Omaha Steaks products are UFCW-made

All of the following hot dogs are  UFCW-made:

  • Ball Park
  • Boar’s Head
  • Foster Farms
  • Hebrew National
  • Hofmann
  • Oscar Mayer
  • Hormel

Sausages:

  • Farmland
  • Koegel’s
  • Gianelli (UFCW)
  • Kroger brand (UFCW)

Condiments:

  • French’s and Guldens Mustard (UFCW)
  • Heinz Ketchup and Catsup (UFCW)
  • Lucky Whip
  • Hidden Valley Ranch

Buns:

  • Sara Lee (UFCW)
  • Oroweat
  • Arnold
  • Stroehmann

Soda & Bottled Water:

  • Barq’s Rootbeer, Coke , and Sprite products (UFCW)
  • Pepsi
  • American Springs  and Poland Springs Water (UFCW)
  • Pocono Northern Fall’s Water

Beer:

  • Bud Light (UFCW)
  • Budweiser
  • Michelob
  • Miller
  • Milwaukee’s Best
  • Rolling Rock
  • Goose Island

Snacks & Desserts:

  • Breyers & Good Humor Ice Cream (UFCW)
  • Flips pretzels
  • Frito-Lay Chips

Supplies:

  • Solo cups
  • Weber Q grills
  • Igloo coolers

This is just a small glimpse of the union-made products that you can use at your July 4th celebration–for more ideas, visit Labor 411 and our UFCW-made Pinterest board!

 

 

June 27, 2013

UFCW Praises Senate Passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform That Includes Roadmap to Citizenship

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C.Joe Hansen, International President of the UFCW , today released the following statement after the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

“I commend the Senate for taking a major bipartisan step toward making comprehensive immigration reform the law of the land. This bill includes many of the UFCW’s principles including a roadmap to citizenship for those already here, strong labor protections for immigrant workers, and a modernized system for allocating employment-based visas based on hard data, not politics.

“For decades, the UFCW has been a staunch advocate for fixing a flawed immigration system that punishes working men and women, tears families apart, and fails workers, families, communities and businesses alike.  We have been proud to be part of a national movement that has led the way in changing the narrative–so that at this point in time a majority of Americans support comprehensive immigration reform.

“Let me be clear. This is a compromise bill. The ‘border surge’ provision added earlier this week is bad public policy at a high price and the UFCW will do everything in its power to mitigate its impact while making clear no further concessions are acceptable. But we cannot allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. Senate passage of comprehensive immigration reform with a road map to citizenship sends a clear message that America will no longer penalize aspiring citizens just for trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. It is now time for the House to finish the job.”

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The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org, or join our online community at www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational and www.twitter.com/ufcw.

May 30, 2013

Show Your UFCW Pride by Entering the New UFCW Facebook Contest!

DSC_0226Are you proud of what you do as a UFCW member on the job? Do you and your coworkers create a product that makes you proud to say “UFCW-made”?

Why not show it off! Enter our new contest by uploading a photo of you or you and your coworkers, or a UFCW product (you can see some of the great things UFCW members make here), and you are not only helping us showcase the great work UFCW members do, but are also entering for a chance to win cool UFCW gear and even grocery store gift cards–worth up to $500!

Its easy to upload and enter: you can either go to http://ufcwmade.com/ or you can get the Facebook app and share with friends!

Vote for your favorite photos on the site, and show your support for UFCW members!