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July 13, 2016

Holsum Bakery Workers Ratify New RWDSU/UFCW Contract

RWDSU UFCW Logo

Last week, members of RWDSU/UFCW Local 835 who work at Holsum Bakery in Fort Wayne, Indiana, overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract. The 78 RWDSU/UFCW members at the plant work in maintenance and production of breads under the Lewis Bakeries label.

The new agreement provides many improvements in the areas of seniority and overtime, schedules, funeral leave, paid holidays and sick days, job classifications, and maintenance advancement programs. Along with wage increases, the new contract also maintains employee health coverage and pension benefits.

July 12, 2016

Transdev Workers Ratify First RWDSU/UFCW Contract

RWDSU-New-Jersey-Drivers-300x209Last week, workers at the Transdev company in Essex County, New Jersey, ratified their first RWDSU/UFCW contract by an overwhelming margin. The Transdev workers include minibus and van drivers, along with schedulers and reservationists, who transport seniors in Essex County.

The Transdev workers joined the RWDSU/UFCW last year to address an unaffordable health care program, low wages, and limited time off with benefits. The new contract addresses these issues.

The agreement increases wages of the lowest-earning workers by $1.45 an hour incrementally in an 18 month period. Other workers will see increases between $1 and $1.50 per hour. The employees – who, prior to negotiations, only had 40 hours of paid time off – will now receive up to 128 hours of paid time off.

“The concept of a union was all new to me. I had an opportunity to sit at the bargaining table as an equal with management and discuss the concerns of the drivers. At the end of the negotiations, we made several improvements that could be measured,” said Transdev employee Tawana Smith.

July 12, 2016

Transdev Workers Ratify First RWDSU Contract

RWDSU-New-Jersey-Drivers-300x209Last week, workers at the Transdev company in Essex County, New Jersey, ratified their first RWDSU contract by an overwhelming margin. The Transdev workers include minibus and van drivers, along with schedulers and reservationists, who transport seniors in Essex County.

The Transdev workers joined the RWDSU last year to address an unaffordable health care program, low wages, and limited time off with benefits. The new contract addresses these issues.

The agreement increases wages of the lowest-earning workers by $1.45 an hour incrementally in an 18 month period. Other workers will see increases between $1 and $1.50 per hour. The employees – who, prior to negotiations, only had 40 hours of paid time off – will now receive up to 128 hours of paid time off.

“The concept of a union was all new to me. I had an opportunity to sit at the bargaining table as an equal with management and discuss the concerns of the drivers. At the end of the negotiations, we made several improvements that could be measured,” said Transdev employee Tawana Smith.

July 8, 2016

Chip In To Help a Local 400 Family Devastated by Flooding

Reposted from UFCW Local 400

Violent flooding has devastated thousands of households in West Virginia. Pitch in today to help a Local 400 family who has lost everything.

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Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Huntington Western River Flood Punt Team provides lifejackets to locals near Clendenin, West Virginia, June 24, 2016. The team is assisting the West Virginia State Emergency Operation Center by providing disaster and relief assistance in response to the widespread flooding. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Imagine losing your home, your car – even your loved ones – after a typical summer rain storm quickly turned into a devastating flood. Imagine clinging to your children for hours while you await rescue, watching helplessly as your family home floats away in violent flood waters.

This is the reality facing thousands of families in West Virginia.

At Local 400, at least 18 members and their families have been affected. Thirteen families have had their homes and vehicles completely destroyed, their hometowns nearly washed off the map. Others have lost vehicles, clothing and family heirlooms. Everyone has weeks of clean up yet to come.

Pitch in now to help a family who has lost everything. Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to a family in Local 400 who has had their home devastated by the flood.

20160707-WeatherUndergroundWVFlooding

This is a time to come together as a union family and support our brothers and sisters in need. Many communities will never be the same. At least 22 people have lost their lives as a result of the disaster. Even today, clean up and rescue efforts are still ongoing as subsequent tornadoes and thunderstorms continue to hamper first responders.

The impact of this devastation will be felt for years to come. But right now, you can help our fellow union members get back on their feet. Pitch in to help a Local 400 family today.

Your tax-deductible donation will be processed through the West Virginia AFL-CIO Disaster Relief Fund and given directly to a Local 400 family in need.

Together, we will get through this. We are a union family and we will be there for each other.

July 7, 2016

Chemtrade Solutions Workers Join the ICWUC

Chemtrade Solutions Workers

On June 28, workers at Chemtrade Solutions in Odem, Texas, voted unanimously to join the International Chemical Workers Union Council (ICWUC) of the UFCW. The workers wanted better wages, a safer work environment and a voice in their workplace. Chemtrade Solutions is a supplier of water treatment chemicals for municipalities. This is the second election the ICWUC has won unanimously in the last ten months since the DuBois Chemicals victory.

“The ICWUC organizing department is an organizing machine, and we’re working hard to make the lives of our members and soon to be members better,” said ICWUC President Frank Cyphers. “We welcome the Chemtrade Solutions workers to our union family.”

July 6, 2016

Jennifer Christensen Becomes First Woman to Serve as President of Local 1189

Jennifer Christensen2--President of Local 1189On June 29, the Executive Board of UFCW Local 1189 made history by electing Jennifer Christensen as president of Local 1189. She is the first woman to serve as president of Local 1189 and will serve out the remainder of retired President Seaquist’s term.

Other officers elected by the Executive Board were Jim Gleb, secretary treasurer, and Jeanine Owusu, recording secretary.  Abraham Wangnoo, Local 1189’s director of organizing, administered the oath of office to the new officers, including Scottie Rotter, the newest vice president who was elected at the board’s May meeting.

Newly elected President Christensen spoke to a room filled to capacity in the Duluth Labor Temple.

“I would like to thank you – the members, for allowing me to work for you – this is the best job in the world,” she said. “I am honored and humbled by the women who blazed the trails before me and beside me – and for the men who opened doors and showed that there are no glass ceilings in this union.”

July 5, 2016

MCAW Calls on Walmart to Withdraw Support of the 2016 Republican National Convention

Walmart Protest at Trump Tower

On June 23, Making Change at Walmart (MCAW), along with The Black Institute, the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, and ColorOfChange.org, sent a letter to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon that calls on the retail giant to withdraw its sponsorship of the 2016 Republican National Convention due to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s history of racist, misogynistic, anti-veteran, and Islamophobic remarks. A full copy of the letter can be viewed here.

“Walmart cannot afford to stay silent when it comes to Donald Trump,” said Jess Levin, communications director at MCAW. “Throughout his presidential campaign, he has managed to offend men and women of all races and religions and across the political spectrum with his racist, misogynistic, anti-veteran and Islamophobic statements. These are Walmart customers and Walmart employees. Walmart needs to send a message that it will not support bigotry, and join the growing list of companies who are refusing to sponsor this year’s Republican National Convention.”

MCAW has launched an online petition where supporters can sign on to the letter. To date, over 10,000 supporters have signed the petition.

June 30, 2016

Local 881 Helps Pass Earned Sick Leave Ordinance in Chicago

Earned Sick Time--Chicago

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.Earned Sick Time--Chicago2

June 23, 2016

Local 135 Helps Pass Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Leave Law in San Diego

MickeyInChambers (2)

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

UALE Women’s Summer Schools Are Taking Registrations

source: http://on.fb.me/Yk2snk

source: http://on.fb.me/Yk2snk

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: