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    Legislation and Politics

March 18, 2019

Locals Lobby to Protect Workers’ Rights

UFCW locals are holding lobby days at their state legislatures to protect the rights of our members and all workers in their respective states.

UFCW Locals 75 and 227 are taking a stand against an anti-worker insurance bill, which is moving in both chambers of the Kentucky State Legislature (HB 317 and SB 171). This legislation would cut the amount of a worker’s weekly unemployment insurance benefits by 25 percent every five weeks. This legislation would also cut the number of weeks that a worker could receive these benefits from 26 to 20 weeks, which would have an adverse effect on Kentuckians who live in economically distressed communities and need more time to find a suitable new job. In February, both locals also lobbied together in support of another piece of legislation to protect workers in the state–the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act (SB 18), which would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, including more frequent or longer breaks, time off to recover from childbirth or a temporary transfer to less strenuous duties.

“Providing common sense accommodations for pregnant workers is just that, common sense,” said UFCW Local 75 President Kevin Garvey. “I applaud the members of the Kentucky Legislature for taking an important step towards ensuring babies are born healthy and avoiding unnecessary medical complications for Kentucky’s working mothers.”

UFCW Local 227 also joined together with UFCW Local 700 in a day of action at the Indiana State Legislature last month in support of similar legislation–the Pregnant Workers’ Bill of Rights. This legislation has been introduced in both chambers (HB 1073 and SB 590) and would prohibit an employer from discriminating against a pregnant job applicant or employee. This legislation would also require an employer to provide reasonable employment accommodations for a pregnant employee, including giving them breaks from sitting or standing for long hours and helping them avoid chemicals, radiation, or other hazardous substances.

“Pregnancy accommodation is good for workers and good for business; family-friendly workplaces see increased productivity, loyalty, and retention of employees,” said UFCW Local 700 President Joe Chorpenning. “Twenty-three states have already passed laws to provide a clear and consistent standard for employers.”

“Most accommodations are free or low cost but are invaluable for the hard-working women and their families who will benefit,” said UFCW Local 227 President Bob Blair. “The personal stories and passion for this issue is what will move the legislation.”


March 18, 2019

UFCW Calls on Congress to Solve Multiemployer Pension Crisis

On March 7, UFCW International President Marc Perrone called on Congress to pass the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act (H.R. 397). Without action by Congress now, this crisis will be much more expensive to fix in the future. Perrone’s statement was issued the same day as the House Education and Labor Committee hearing on the solvency of multiemployer pensions.

The UFCW has been a strong national advocate for pension reform and supports the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act because it is a common sense way to shore up multiemployer plans while protecting the earned pensions of retirees and active workers.

Perrone’s statement reads as follows:

“America’s promise has always been that anyone who works hard can build a better life for themselves and their family. When the retirement savings of millions of Americans is in jeopardy after they’ve worked hard their entire lives, that promise is being broken.

“Keeping that promise starts with protecting the pensions of today’s workers and retirees and making the strong investments needed to ensure the retirement security of generations to come.

“The time is now for Congress to pass the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act to protect these pensions before the crisis becomes even more costly and widespread. The retirement security for millions of workers and their families is on the line. We can’t wait any longer.”

January 22, 2019

Perrone: Shutdown Threatens America’s Retail Workers and Nation’s Economy

UFCW International President Marc Perrone called attention to the government shutdown’s impact on America’s 16 million retail workers and the broader economy in a statement issued on Jan. 18.

Perrone’s statement reads as follows:

“Every day the government shutdown drags on, 800,000 federal workers continue to be locked out of their job or forced to work without pay. But this wasteful shutdown is also threatening the 16 million American workers who help power our country’s $2.6 trillion retail sector and the broader economy.

“When Republicans shut down the government in 2013, retail sales from furloughed workers dropped seven percent and the economy lost $2 billion in productivity. About one in 10 Americans are employed in the retail industry and the longer the current shutdown continues, the harder hit these workers and our economy will be.

“It’s high time for President Trump and Congress to stop playing politics with our economy and American workers and finally end this reckless government shutdown.”

January 4, 2019

Perrone: “Bipartisan Farm Bill Is a Victory for Hard-Working Families”

On Dec. 12, UFCW International President Marc Perrone issued a statement in support of the U.S. House of Representatives passing the 2018 Farm Bill conference report.

Perrone’s statement reads as follows:

“Today’s passage of the bipartisan farm bill is a victory for hard-working families. Earlier versions were deeply partisan and proposed substantial cuts to SNAP, a vital program that not only helps millions in need put food on the table every day but creates sustainable jobs in food processing plants, distribution centers, and grocery stores across the country.

“Thanks to the leadership of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, Congress has rightly rejected the cuts that would have threatened our economy and good jobs across America.

“As the voice of workers who help put food on America’s tables, we are proud to be a partner in this legislation that puts people first by protecting access to food for families in need and making the strong investments in our workers and communities that we deserve.”

June 25, 2018

UFCW Condemns ICE Raids in Ohio

The UFCW denounced last week’s ICE raids at Fresh Mark plants in the Ohio towns of Canton, Massillon and Salem, and called on the Trump Administration and Congress to work together and fix our broken immigration system.

Perrone’s statement reads as follows:

“Tearing hard-working men and women apart from their children, families, and communities is wrong. The people who do these incredibly difficult jobs have the right to due process, and to be treated with respect and fairness. Today’s actions will only drive this nation further apart, while also spreading unmistakable pain among neighbors, friends, coworkers, and loved ones.

“Our top priority is to provide whatever assistance and counsel we can to any of our impacted members and their families. The broken policies that led to these and other workplace raids must be addressed immediately. They are creating a climate of fear where workers across this country are too afraid to stand up for their rights, report wage theft, dangerous work conditions, and other workplace issues.

“We urge President Trump and members of Congress to work together to fix our broken immigration system, and to keep the demands of due process and family unity at the forefront. As a nation of immigrants, we must and can do better than this.”

June 25, 2018

UFCW Responds to Partisan Farm Bill

UFCW International President Marc Perrone issued the following statement on June 21 regarding the U.S. House of Representatives passing H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill.

Perrone’s statement reads as follows:

“This exact bill failed last month for good reason.

“It puts hundreds of thousands of good jobs at risk of being eliminated and makes it more difficult for hard-working people to feed their families.

“The House needs to take a cue from the Senate and immediately come together to pass a bipartisan Farm Bill.”

June 18, 2018

UFCW Applauds Bipartisan Farm Bill

UFCW International President Marc Perrone issued a statement on June 14 regarding the Farm Bill (Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) passing the Senate Agriculture Committee by a vote of 20 to 1.

Perrone’s statement reads as follows:

“We applaud the Senate Agriculture Committee for working across the aisle and coming together to pass a Farm Bill.

“The Farm Bill is good policy that creates good jobs and is counted on by hard-working families throughout the country. Using it for leverage or as a pawn in a partisan political game is dangerous and wrong.

“We urge the U.S. House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead and begin immediate work on a Farm Bill that can be passed with bipartisan support.”

May 29, 2018

Court Rulings Restore DACA Program Renewals

Federal court rulings recently halted the Trump administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  The court orders require U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to resume accepting DACA renewal applications.  These orders apply nationwide to any individual previously awarded DACA. Individuals never awarded DACA are not eligible to apply.

Here is basic information about the DACA renewal application process:

Who is eligible to apply for DACA renewal?

Any individual who was previously granted DACA may apply, including individuals whose DACA has expired; current DACA recipients whose DACA is about to expire; and individuals whose DACA was terminated.

Renewal process for DACA recipients whose DACA expired on or after September 5, 2016 or will expire:

A previous recipient whose DACA status expired on or after September 5, 2016, or whose status is expected to expire, may file a renewal request.

The renewal should be filed with USCIS on Form I-821D, Form I-765 (work authorization application), and Form I-765WS (worksheet).

Renewal process for DACA recipients whose DACA expired before September 5, 2016:

An individual previously granted DACA whose eligibility expired before September 5, 2016, must file a new initial DACA request.

The request should be filed with USCIS on Form I-821D, Form I-765 (work authorization application), and Form I-765WS (worksheet).

Renewal process for DACA recipients whose eligibility was terminated:

An individual whose most recent DACA grant was terminated may file a new initial application with USCIS on Form I-821D, Form I-765 (work authorization application), and Form I-765WS (worksheet).

Information applicable to all filers:

A filing fee will be charged or the filer may apply to waive the fee.

All applications should list the date DACA expired or was terminated.

There will be no advance parole granted during this period.

The same program requirements in effect prior to the program’s termination will apply to renewals.

DACA recipients must have resided continuously in the U.S. from the time of their initial DACA request to the present.

DACA recipients must not have departed the U.S. on or after August 15, 2012, except on advance parole.

If a recipient has had any interaction with law enforcement since the last DACA approval, it is advisable to consult with an attorney.

DACA recipients may contact UFCW Legal Department at (202) 223-3111 with questions.


May 21, 2018

UFCW Responds to Bipartisan Defeat of Farm Bill

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released a statement on May 18 regarding the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), also known as the Farm Bill, failing to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Perrone’s statement reads as follows:

“This Farm Bill was flawed and deserved to be defeated.

“The most common jobs in our country are retail jobs where work schedules are uncertain and vary widely from week to week. If this bill had become law, someone who works hard could have lost access to food simply because their employer cut their hours.

“We urge members of Congress to go back to the drawing board, and work together to craft a Farm Bill that doesn’t punish hard-working families, protects jobs, and actually makes life better in the communities we call home.”

May 7, 2018

UFCW Pork Plant Workers Tell USDA to Keep Line Speeds Safe

Over 6,500 UFCW members who work in pork plants submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in opposition to a proposed rule that would increase the line speeds where they work, threatening both them and the consumers they serve. On May 3, UFCW International President Marc Perrone released a statement as the comment period for this rule ended.

Perrone’s statement reads as follows:

“The American people and our members are clear – faster line speeds in pork plants will lead to more workplace injuries and less safe food.

“The hard-working professionals employed in America’s pork plants are united in opposition to this proposed rule because they know better than anyone the harmful effects of increasing production speeds.

“We urge the USDA to hear their voices and rewrite this rule so that the people who work in pork plants and the millions they serve can all be kept safe.”