• Background Image

    News and Updates

    Issues

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:

 

June 15, 2016

UFCW Local 21 Member Speaks at the White House United State of Women

Ariana Photo 1Ariana Davis, a UFCW Local 21 member who works at Safeway, spoke at the White House United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C. She shared the stage with President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, actress Kerry Washington and Oprah to discuss key gender equality issues.

Ariana presented with AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler about the best way to give working women equal pay Ariana with Kerry Washington Photo 2and an equal say – a union. Equal pay, fair schedules, paid leave – the bottom line is that if we stand together and negotiate together, we win together.

Ariana Photo 3In front of a crowd of 5,000 people, Ariana shared her experience with being a part of UFCW Local 21 in Seattle. “Being in a union has allowed me to negotiate for and win higher wages, good benefits and economic stability. But the truth is, the power of a union is about much more than dollars and cents. I’ve stood up for my friends at work who were being disrespected by management. And I helped them get justice on the job. That’s a powerful feeling. I am a force in my community.”

Evidence shows that union membership increases wages for all workers, but women experience especially large Ariana Photo 4advantages. Women are the primary breadwinners in 38% of American households – paying them less for no reason puts millions of families and communities at a disadvantage.

Ariana Photo 5Back in the other Washington, Ariana has been busy collecting thousands of signatures as the citizen petitioner behind Initiative 1433, a statewide ballot measure which will raise the minimum wage to $13.50 and provide workers with up to seven days of paid sick leave.

6.8 million women in America belong to a union. Thanks to Ariana, more people know why. Ariana Photo 6

June 14, 2016

UFCW Member Explains Why Working Women Win With a Union

Story shared in front of 5,000 at White House United State of Women Summit 

 

Ariana with actress and activist Kerry Washington

Ariana with actress and activist Kerry Washington

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ariana Davis, a United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) member from Local 21 in Seattle, Washington, shared the stage with President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Oprah at the White House United State of Women Summit.

“The power of a union is about much more than dollars and cents,” said Ariana Davis. “I am respected by workers and managers alike. I am a force in my community. And it’s because I don’t stand alone – I am in a movement with grocery workers and steelworkers and teachers. Together, we have a voice. Together, we can make change.”

The White House United State of Women Summit was put together to provide solutions to key gender equality issues. In 38% of households, women are the primary breadwinners. When women earn less than men for no reason, it negatively impacts families in every community. Working to solve gender equality questions will help hard-working people to live better lives.

BACKGROUND:

  • 8 million women in America belong to a union.
  • A union contract offers a way to give women both equal pay and an equal say in their workplace.
  • Union membership boosts wages for all workers—but women experience especially large advantages.
  • The wage gap among union members is less than half the size of the wage gap among non-union workers, and female union members typically earn $230 more per week than women who are not represented by unions—a larger wage premium than men receive.

###

 

UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about the UFCW www.ufcw.org

June 1, 2016

Stamp Out Hunger Recap

This year, UFCW members and locals played an active role in the Stamp Out Hunger food drive. The following photos are just a a fraction of the astounding donations of non-perishable food and time volunteered by UFCW folks in their communities. (Click to advance)

Stamp Out Hunger

May 26, 2016

Hillary Clinton Meets with Retail Workers at UFCW Conference

In sit down with Sec. Clinton, retail workers talk about organizing and their fight for fair work practices 

(LAS VEGAS, NV) Today, Secretary Hillary Clinton met with hard-working retail workers from across the industry to discuss the  issues impacting them, their families, and co-workers.  During the meeting, the workers talked about their day-to-day challenges, including workplace intimidation, scheduling and unpredictable hours. The emotional visit with Clinton included workers from Albertson’s, Macy’s, El Super and Stater Bros.

The meeting with Flora Castaneda and Yolanda Pivaral, both El Super workers, was especially powerful as they highlighted the company’s ongoing intimidation and failure to recognize their right to negotiate a better life and a contract providing better wages and benefits. They have both worked to organize their stores and join the UFCW.

Sherry Hamilton, who works as a union representative at Macy’s, discussed that while UFCW  provides people with higher wages and protection, the non-union retail industry is still defined by unpredictable scheduling that makes it impossible to go to school, spend time with family, or have control over one’s life.

“I wanted Secretary Clinton to know how important joining a union was for me and my family. It’s the opportunity for a better life,” said Flora Castaneda, a UFCW member and worker at El Super. “I wanted her to know that companies like El Super need to do what is right and recognize our right to higher wages and benefits.”

PSS_5392“I’m a working mom and I’m going to school,” said Yolanda Pivaral, a UFCW member and worker at El Super. “Without a predictable work schedule, it’s tough to coordinate child care and manage my classes. Secretary Clinton gets it. Workers in my store want a union contract so we can have the chance to shape our schedules. To have more control over my life would help me do my job better, manage my class work, and build a good life for my son.”

“Buying a wedding dress or a child’s first pair of shoes, these are big events and we work hard to make them special memories for customers,” said Sherry Hamilton, a Macy’s union representative. “I don’t think people realize how much havoc bad scheduling can have upon a worker’s life. By making work schedules in the retail industry more stable and reliable, we would be able to enjoy precious moments in our personal lives as well.”

Clinton also addressed the UFCW conference, and was introduced by International President Marc Perrone.

“Our members endorsed Hillary because she is the only candidate who truly cares about the issues that matter to them. Regardless of what job a person does, Secretary Clinton is committed to making sure that people who work hard get the brighter future they have earned and deserve,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “It speaks to Hillary’s character and her compassion that she doesn’t talk at our members, she listens to them.”

 

 

BACKGROUND

In January 2016, after surveying its membership across the country, UFCW endorsed Sec. Clinton. This is the second time Sec. Clinton has personally spoken with retail workers who are part of the UFCW.

PSS_5358The retail sector is one of the fastest growing parts of the economy, but 40 million retail workers face challenges from erratic schedules, split shifts and part-time hours that make it difficult to live a stable life, manage a second job, or coordinate care for their families. These are common concerns throughout the industry and are a major reason why more and more retail workers are considering the benefits of joining a union. Earlier this year, UFCW announced it already had 100 organizing wins in 100 days, reflecting workers desire to work together to secure their lives and futures.

BIOS

Yolanda Pivaral is 23, works at El Super Store #13 located in Los Angeles, CA and has been a cashier there for 3.5 years. She is a single mother to a six year old boy. She and her son live in Los Angeles. Yolanda is also furthering her education and is studying Communications at the California State University, Los Angeles. Yolanda has currently been getting more involved in her union. She has become trained and is now helping to do workshops to help make fellow union members US Citizens, through the Union Citizen Action Network.

Flora Castaneda 44, has worked as cashier at El Super Store #17 located in Los Angeles, CA for 12 years as a cashier. She is a single mother of three children. She and her children live in Los Angeles. Flora is a member of the bargaining team. She and her fellow co-workers have been fighting for over two years for adequate paid sick days, better wages, better benefits, more affordable health care, a fair seniority system, and respect.

Sherry Hamilton is 50, and was a sales associate at Macy’s in the Bronx for 17 years. After joining Local 1-S while working at Macy’s, she later joined the Local 1-S team where she now serves other Macy’s employees for the union.

###

UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.