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    News and Updates


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


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


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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 19, 2013

New Report on Political Contributions Underscores Walmart’s Sharp Turn to the Right

Following the Hiring of Bush Administration Official to Lead External Affairs, 

 Walmart Heirs Donate Millions to Right-Wing Candidates, Anti-Gay Politicians, NRA Supporters


UFCWnewsA new report issued Tuesday shows that Walmart and the Walton family that founded and controls the company have dramatically increased their political contributions over the last decade and that the vast majority of those contributions have gone to Republicans and right-wing causes, including anti-gay, anti-environment and pro-gun politicians and causes. The report asserts that Walmart, the world’s largest private employer, and the Walton family have spent over $17 million in federal elections and millions more on state and local initiatives. Since the 2000 election cycle, more than $11.6 million—69% of Walmart and the Waltons’ contributions—has gone to Republican candidates and committees. At the same time, 83% of the Waltons’ contributions, including their contributions to Super PACs, went to Republicans.

The report, “An Analysis of Walmart and Walton Family Political Spending, 2000-2012,” comes after Walmart’s recent hiring of Dan Bartlett, a Bush Administration official known for his work in creating the “weapons of mass destruction” narrative, to replace Leslie Dach as Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs. Dach worked in the Clinton Administration.

“This new report highlights the degree to which Walmart and the Walton family use their considerable wealth to distort the political process,” said William Fletcher, a member of OUR Walmart and an Associate at the Walmart store in Duarte, California. “The Waltons are the richest family in the world. Instead of putting their money into fair wages for us Walmart workers, they instead pour millions into a right-wing agenda that has nothing to do with business and everything to do with their radical ideology.”

The report further underscores Walmart and the Waltons’ turn to the right and shows that political contributions doesn’t simply stop at supporting Republicans; in 2008, Jim Walton gave $75,000 to the Arkansas Family Council Action Committee, which at the time was supporting a ballot measure to prevent gay families from adopting. Meanwhile, 94% of the Walton family’s contributions to candidates from 2000 to 2012 went to those who were opposed to or silent on the issue of marriage equality.

Aside from their record of supporting anti-LGBT candidates, the Waltons and Walmart disproportionately contribute to candidates with low scores on civil rights, women’s issues, immigration, and those who oppose raising the minimum wage. The Waltons also support NRA-backed candidates; 76% of all their donations from 2000-2012 have gone to candidates or politicians with an A+ or an A from the NRA.

The Walton family, collectively worth $115 billion, has more wealth than the bottom 42% of Americans combined. At the same time, despite more than $16 billion in annual profits and executives making 1,000 times more than the average Walmart employee, a new report released by the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce found that the costs to taxpayers at just one Walmart store as a result of Walmart’s inadequate wages and benefits is about $1 million.

Tuesday’s report was issued by Making Change at Walmart, a growing coalition challenging Walmart to help rebuild our economy and strengthen working families, and comes as a growing number of associates and supporters nationwide are calling for the company to end retaliation against employees and for the company to publicly commit to providing full-time work with a minimum salary of $25,000 a year so workers don’t have to rely on tax-payer funded programs to support their families.


UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Wal-Mart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Wal-Mart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Wal-Mart publically commit to adhering to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of Walmart employees.


June 18, 2013

Member Spotlight: UFCW Steward Takes On Target

The following is the story of Angela, a former Zellers employee, who is now taking action in order to get Target to act responsibly and give better treatment to the Zellers workers in which the company displaced:

Former Zeller's worker Angela Rankine

Former Zellers worker Angela Rankine

My name is Angela Rankine, and for thirteen years, I worked at Zellers in Toronto. But when Target took over the store leases two years ago, I lost my job, along with 25,000 other workers just like me.

When Target came to Canada, they had the opportunity to be a responsible neighbor and help build up our communities. Instead, Target chose to build at the expense of the community.

Target could have chosen to let us keep our jobs. Instead, the company has made workers, with over a decade of experience serving the community, re-apply for entry-level jobs. Those workers who did manage to get their jobs back have lost the pay and benefits that they earned over years of service.

Everybody knows about Walmart’s poor track record of disregarding their workers’ rights. But when it comes to Target’s record on workers’ rights in Canada, the company fares way worse than Walmart, and that’s a pretty scary situation.

Last week, I traveled to Denver, Colorado to ask Target executives to rehire Zellers workers. With the support of Denver-area union members and community allies, I spoke out at Target’s annual shareholders’ meeting. Over one hundred supporters cheered me on as our allies and I walked into the meeting.

I know that we still have a long fight ahead before we will get our jobs back, but I also know that we’re not fighting alone. My union brothers and sisters had my back in Denver, and together, we will keep on fighting.

June 14, 2013

Local 400 Safeway Members Welcome SNAP Challenge Participants

D10781_0518This week, 26 members of Congress have committed to living off of a food stamp budget in order to bring awareness to the House Republican cuts to the  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Already, the SNAP program denies eligibility to 50 million “food insecure households”.  But now, proposed changes to the Farm Bill would strip access to the program from an additional 2 million families.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and the other congress members participating in the SNAP challenge are addressing this alarming issue by attempting to live off of less than $4.50 a day.

On Wednesday, the challenge participants stopped at a Washington D.C. Safeway, where Local 400 members work, to buy a week’s worth of groceries for about $30.  In order to keep to the strict budget of the food stamp program, staples like milk and butter were out of the question.  Representative Lee described the difficulty of the trip in an online blog:

“What I’m thinking about most during this trip is that I’m shopping only for myself.  When I was a young, single mother, I was on public assistance. It was a bridge over troubled water, and without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I spent hours debating what to buy and what to skip, all the while keeping my sons in my mind.”

The proposed changes to the Farm bill will send many single parents who are in this position, into a state of utter uncertainty about how to provide food for their families.  A large portion of those affected by the cuts will be under the age of 18.

This is not the first time officials have tried the SNAP challenge, however. Newark’s mayor, Cory Booker did so earlier this year, and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton found that adhering to the food stamp budget left him feeling tired, and eventually “unable to focus”.  Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) admitted that if this was how he had to live, he would likely be a more unpleasant person, due to his state of hunger. He also lost six pounds in just four days.

The conservatives who claim food stamp programs create dependency on government don’t know what its like to go hungry. Some may joke about those who must rely on government programs, but the reality is that many hard-working people cannot make ends meet without them.

UFCW Local 400 President Mark Federici made a statement following the group’s visit to Safeway this week, commending the challenge participants:

Year in and year out, the SNAP/Food Stamp program proves itself an unqualified success in reducing hunger, alleviating poverty and stimulating the economy. That’s why we are deeply dismayed that the Senate version of the Farm Bill re-authorization cuts SNAP benefits for approximately 500,000 households, and outraged that the House version of the legislation would completely eliminate benefits for two million low-income families. This would be bad enough under any circumstances, but it’s even worse coming at a time when far too many Americans are unemployed and our economic recovery is still shaky.

“The SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge is a critical way for elected officials and other leaders to experience first-hand how hard it is to feed a family on a SNAP budget, and to understand why benefits should be increased, rather than cut. We applaud all the members of Congress who are joining the challenge this week, and we are especially proud that they chose to purchase their groceries at a union shop. They understand that shopping union gets you the most value for your grocery dollar and the best customer service in the industry.

“Local 400 is privileged to join with these members of Congress in educating the public about the persistence of hunger in America and urging lawmakers to restore full funding to the SNAP/Food Stamp program in the Farm Bill.

“We also remind policy makers that the best way to reduce SNAP expenditures is to shop union, and to restore to workers their right to choose collective bargaining. The rise of low-wage employers like Walmart is a big reason why the SNAP program has grown in recent years, because the workers earn so little, they need Food Stamps to feed their families. By contrast, the more workers with union contracts, the fewer workers will need SNAP or any other type of federal assistance. That’s a win-win solution for everybody, because it lowers poverty, eases hunger, bolsters the economy, and improves government balance sheets.

June 12, 2013

Support Union Dads This Father’s Day and Buy Union!

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and you know that means–a great opportunity to support your union! Check out the list of gift ideas, provided by the AFL-CIO.

Among the UFCW-made products dads may enjoy are:

-Jim Beam

-Knob Creek Whiskey

-Naturalizer, Red Wing, and any shoes sold at the Union Boot Pro!

-Old Spice products

-Pierre Cardin cologne

-Omaha Steaks

Carhartt clothing

You can get even more ideas here, and on our Pinterest page!




June 12, 2013

New York City Thrift Store Workers Vote to Join RWDSU/UFCW

Unique Thrift store workers in New York City voted to join the RWDSU for better wages and working conditions.

Unique Thrift store workers in New York City voted to join the RWDSU for better wages and working conditions.

This week, workers at Unique Thrift in the Bronx, New York, voted to join the RWDSU/UFCW. All 64 workers at the Bronx store will be part of the bargaining unit. The workers who sort through the donated goods and staff the Unique Thrift stores in the Bronx, and other parts of New York and New Jersey are speaking out about their working conditions. Workers are paid low wages, receive no paid sick days or vacations, are verbally abused by managers and are often hurt on the job.

“As a single mom living in New York City, it is extremely difficult to survive off $7.50 an hour,” said Joanna Carrillo, Unique Thrift employee. “I was proud to vote yes to join the RWDSU because we deserve respect, better wages, and basic benefits such as health care and paid time off.”

Unique Thrift is a for profit thrift store which contracts with the Lupus Foundation. The company solicits donations in the name of the Lupus Foundation, sells the clothes for profit and sends the charity a comparatively small contribution.

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!

May 28, 2013

Workers at Guitar Center Unionize!

Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo

Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo

Last week, 57 workers at Guitar Center’s flagship store in Manhattan voted to form a union with UFCW/RWDSU.

The union victory at the Manhattan store will help ensure that workers will enjoy better working conditions and will put a stop to declining wages.  Several other New York City Guitar Centers are expected to organize as well, with the potential for other store locations across the country to follow suite, according to Rolling Stone.

Workers at Guitar Center began organizing for union representation late in 2012, when they began to see decreased wages, and many struggled to make ends meet.  Big name rockers like Tom Morello and Ted Leo took notice and were among the many supporters of the workers campaign to unionize.

Some workers noted that, by supporting good jobs and working conditions at Guitar Center, the union is also supporting the music, since many of the new union members are in bands themselves.


May 13, 2013

President Hansen on Decision of H&M and Others to Improve Workplace Safety in Bangladesh


Washington, D.C. – The following is a statement issued by United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) President Joseph Hansen regarding the decision of H&M and other retailers to sign a legally binding agreement to improve workplace safety in Bangladesh:

“The UFCW applauds H&M and other retailers for accepting binding building safety standards at Bangladeshi garment factories following the recent fire and building collapse that killed more than 1,000 garment workers in Bangladesh. By signing the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, H&M and other retailers are taking the high road and putting people before profits at their supplier factories.

“The UFCW also applauds UNI Global Union, IndustriALL Global Union and the Worker Rights Consortium for their work to address the terrible working conditions in Bangladesh.  Thousands of UFCW members work in the retail industry, including at H&M, and the UFCW will continue to honor the workers who died or were injured in Bangladesh by supporting workers here and abroad who are struggling to protect their basic rights, and by calling on other retailers that have a strong presence in Bangladesh—such as Walmart—to do the right thing and sign this agreement.”

May 13, 2013

Walmart Associates, Community Supporters Launch New Website www.ReallyWalmart.org

reallywmWashington, DC-  Today, the Making Change at Walmart campaign and its coalition partners announced the launch of a new website www.ReallyWalmart.org.  The website, which showcases a number of video interviews of Walmart employees, community activists, environmentalists and others sharing their experiences with and concerns about Walmart, comes on the heels of Walmart launching a new multimillion-dollar ad-campaign and website of the same name titled “The Real Walmart”.

“Usually I work 36 hours a week but they cut hours…sometimes I even get only 26 hours and I am supposed to be fulltime,” said Chicago native and OUR Walmart member Rose Campbell, who is featured on the site.  “I’ve even had 19 hours.  I’ve got bills and none of that changes…you have to make do.”

ReallyWalmart.org includes testimony from Walmart employees, community activist and even Actor/Activist Danny Glover.  The site also includes footage from elected officials, including President Obama’s keynote address to the Unite Food and Commercial Workers Union in 2008.  Also featured is exclusive footage from labor activist and former Bangladesh garment worker Kalpona Aktar.

“We might not have millions of dollars to pay for TV ads, but we have the stories to share that Walmart doesn’t want the public to hear,” said OUR Walmart member Charlene Fletcher.  “The truth is that Walmart is a company that puts profits over people and employs tactics and strategies that keep employees like me in jobs that don’t let us provide for our families.  Even while Walmart’s profits are going up, my coworkers and I have to rely on food stamps just to cover groceries.”

Citing nearly $16 billion in annual profits and a CEO earning 1000 times the average employee, Walmart employees and communities across the globe are calling for a change of course at the company.  Making Change at Walmart is calling on the company to raise wages, an end to retaliation against employees who speak out as well as increased access to full time hours so that employees make a minimum of $25,000 per year.

Additionally, the group is also calling on Walmart sign a binding agreement on fire and building safety to help prevent tragedies like last month’s Rana Plaza building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh which caused the death of more than 1,000 garment workers.

Over the course of the last year, Walmart has seen its reputation and business practices questioned amidst bribery allegations, tragedies in its supply chain and turmoil amongst its workforce including strikes launched last year for the first time in the company’s 51 year history.  Since 2011 Walmart has seen a decline in its reputational index rating, while its competitors have seen an increase during the same period and support for changing course at Walmart has been growing.  Last fall, more than 30,000 supporters joined striking workers on picket lines around Black Friday and since then a number of actions have taken place at Walmart stores across the country including last month when hundreds of OUR Walmart members and their supporters called on the company to correct scheduling problems within stores.

The new website highlights stories from various Walmart employees including those who have called on the company to change course and leadership.  Additionally, it features stories of Walmart employees who receive public assistance and those work along the supply chain.



UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Wal-Mart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Wal-Mart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Wal-Mart publically commit to adhering to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of Walmart employees.