News and Updates
June 30, 2016
Last week, the Chicago City Council passed the Earned Sick Leave Ordinance by 48-0, which will extend earned sick leave to over 450,000 workers in Chicago. The ordinance will most dramatically benefit 42 percent of Chicago’s private sector workforce who currently lack paid sick leave. UFCW Local 881 played a big role in the passage of this legislation.
“On behalf of the 8,000 hardworking members of Local 881 UFCW who live and work in every neighborhood of Chicago, I commend the 48 supportive voting members of the Chicago City Council for passing the Earned Sick Leave Ordinance,” said UFCW Local 881 President Ron Powell. “In 2015, voters in every ward of Chicago overwhelmingly supported extending earned sick leave to working families who are one flu season away from losing their job and economic hardship. We are pleased today that the City Council listened to the working people of Chicago! This is a historic step for our city and a victory for workers and our communities.”
UFCW Local 881 was the founding member of the Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition, a partnership of community, public health, faith, women’s advocacy, and labor organizations that worked together to raise awareness about this issue. The Earned Sick Leave Ordinance takes effect on July 1, 2017.
June 23, 2016
On June 8, San Diego passed legislation that will immediately increase the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour, and then to $11.50 an hour in January. This bill also provides five days of annual paid sick leave. Members of UFCW Local 135 played an important role in the fight for this legislation, which will help hard-working men, women and their families in the San Diego area and improve public health.
This legislation immediately gives a boost to 170,000 workers in the city of San Diego, where many minimum wage employees work two or more jobs to make ends meet.
This new minimum wage increase was a long time coming. Back in 2014, the San Diego City Council voted in favor of raising the minimum wage. However, shortly thereafter, the mayor vetoed it, the city council overrode it and the San Diego Chamber of Commerce stepped in with petitions for a ballot initiative, which halted raises for the working poor for more than two years.
UFCW Local 135 President Mickey Kasparian spoke before the San Diego City Council in favor of raising the minimum wage, and UFCW Local 135 staff phone banked and knocked on doors to get the ballot initiative passed. This victory is the result of an effort, by a diverse coalition led by RaiseUp San Diego, to ensure that no one who works full-time in San Diego is forced to live in poverty.
“The historic passage of an increase in minimum wage and earned sick days for San Diego workers signals a clear turning of the tide in San Diego,” said UFCW Local 135 President Mickey Kasparian. “In the end, a million dollar campaign from out-of-town hotel and restaurant lobbyists and a veto from Mayor Faulconer could not stop San Diegans from voting their conscience. Hopefully, this will alleviate the struggles for workers who make tough decisions like whether to pay the rent or put food on the table.”
June 17, 2016
The four regional United Association for Labor Education (UALE) summer schools are now accepting registrations! These are wonderful opportunities for women activists, electeds, staff, and community allies to grow their leadership in an empowering learning community. Scholarships are available for women ages 35 and younger (info found in links below).
Check out the programs in your area:
- August 9-13 at UCLA, Los Angeles. SUMMER INSTITUTE ON UNION WOMEN: Breaking Down Barriers and Borders: go to http://www.labor.ucla.edu/get-involved/siuw/
- July 24-28 at Roosevelt University, Chicago and hosted jointly by the Illinois Labor History Society and the University of Illinois’ Labor Education Program. MIDWEST SCHOOL FOR WOMEN WORKERS: The Women of Summer–Exploring the Past and Organizing for the Future. Go to http://www.illinoislaborhistory.org/msww2016/
- July 30-August 3 at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. NORTHEAST SUMMER SCHOOL FOR UNION WOMEN: The Struggle is Real. Go to: http://smlr.rutgers.edu/NEunionwomensummerschool
- July 27-30 at Florida International University, Miami. SOUTHERN SCHOOL FOR UNION WOMEN: Know Your Rights–Working in a Globalized Environment. Go to: https://labor.fiu.edu/2016-southern-school-for-working-women/