• Background Image

    News and Updates

    Issues

December 9, 2015

UFCW Hosts Workers’ Rights Training Session for Poultry Workers

[aesop_quote type=”pull” background=”#282828″ text=”#ffffff” align=”center” size=”2″ quote=” I am not afraid. I know we can work together to change our workplace and make it better for everyone.”” parallax=”on” direction=”left”]

L1189 Rights Training

Some of the participants in the training pose with their completion certificates.

This past Saturday, UFCW Local 1189, the UFCW Occupational Safety and Health Department and the Greater Minnesota Workers’ Center hosted a workers’ rights training session for unorganized poultry workers in St. Cloud, Minn. The training was focused on giving unorganized workers tools to stand up for a safe workplaces and helping them build common ground with workers of different cultural backgrounds. More than 70 workers from a variety of plants came out for the training, which was simultaneously conducted in English, Spanish and Somali.

“I am really glad I came to this training with the Somali people,” said one Spanish-speaking worker during the comment portion of the training. “I tried to get my friends to come with me but they were too afraid. I am not afraid. I know we can work together to change our workplace and make it better for everyone.”

August 13, 2015

UFCW Local 23 Helps Pass Paid Sick Leave Law in Pittsburgh

L23 Pitt Paid Sick Leave PassesLast week, Pittsburgh passed a law that guarantees paid sick days for every worker in the city.

The victory was made possible by UFCW Local 23 members who spent weeks canvassing and building community support for the law.

Thanks to their hard work, more than 50,000 Pittsburgh workers will be eligible to earn paid time off so that they have the opportunity to stay home and get better when they become ill. L23 Pitt Paid Sick Leave Canvass

UFCW Local 23 is building on the momentum from this victory and pushing for a statewide paid sick leave law so that all workers in Pennsylvania can enjoy the same benefit.

July 8, 2015

UFCW and JBS Partner Together for Joint Safety Trainings

[aesop_quote type=”block” background=”#084e93″ text=”#ffffff” align=”center” size=”2″ quote=”It was great to see everybody working together in the setting to make our plant safer. During our walk-through, it was good to have a new set of eyes to help spot hazards that might have otherwise been overlooked.” cite=”Darin Rehnelt, representative for UFCW Local 1161″ parallax=”on” direction=”left”]

JBSTraining 3The UFCW has initiated a new health and safety program for workers in UFCW JBS plants. The program is a new joint effort with JBS to establish a uniform safety program for workers and management throughout the chain. This is the first time JBS and the UFCW have come together to create a program that is specific to keeping workers safe.

The first part of the program focuses on training union reps, workers, staff, and JBS management to learn about identifying the underlying causes of workplace injuries, illness, and fatalities. The second part trains participants on how to correct, control, and prevent those workplace hazards. The ultimate goal is to develop a sustainable system where people in the plant know how to prevent hazards, how to identify them, and how to follow the correct procedures to efficiently correct hazards.

The health and safety program came about when UFCW staff initiated a meeting with JBS corporate safety staff out of concern for the safety and well-being of workers. During the meeting, both sides agreed that there was room for improvement in the health and safety protocols at the plants. A year later, UFCW and JBS finalized a plan to work jointly to address safety issues and develop the new health and safety program.JBS Training 1

[aesop_quote type=”pull” background=”#282828″ text=”#ffffff” width=”30%” align=”left” size=”2″ quote=”The joint training has been a very positive experience for all parties involved.” cite=”Marvin Spidle, corporate safety manager from the Federal Business Unit at JBS.” parallax=”on” direction=”left”]

“The joint training has been a very positive experience for all parties involved. It has provided some different ways of looking at the hazards in the workplace that most people overlook. I am excited to continue with this training in our facilities and providing our employees a safer environment to work in,” said Marvin Spidle, corporate safety manager from the Federal Business Unit at JBS.

The program began in January, and JBS workers at UFCW Locals 540, 1161, 293, and 435 have already gone through the first phase of the training. During the first phase of the program, workers and staff learned how to identify workplace hazards in their plant. Following the classroom training, participants then walked together through their plant to apply their new knowledge and identify any hazards that they learned about in the training. Some common safety hazards that workers are trained to spot include unguarded shafts and belts, slippery floors, narrow aisles, and unlabeled exposed pipes and electrical wires.

JBS Training 2“It was great to see everybody working together in the setting to make our plant safer. During our walk-through, it was good to have a new set of eyes to help spot hazards that might have otherwise been overlooked,” said Darin Rehnelt, a representative for UFCW Local 1161.

The trainings last about six hours and are conducted in English and Spanish. Following the JBS plant trainings, the plan is to take the health and safety program to workers in the poultry industry, including those who work in JBS’s Pilgrim’s Pride plants.

If you are interested in having a health and safety training in your local plant contact Kurt Brandt at kbrandt@ufcw.org.

 

 

 

 

June 26, 2015

UFCW Statement on Obergefell v. Hodges

Supreme Court Rainbow Pillar_FINALWASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

“Today, marriage equality is finally the law of the land. This decision secures equality and dignity for every family in all fifty states. Our UFCW family strongly supports full equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people – not just the right of all people to marry the person they love, but also equal rights when it comes to employment and immigration policies. It is a historic victory that was simply unimaginable just two decades ago.

While we are celebrating today, it’s worth remembering that there is still a lot of work to be done before LGBT people have full equality under the law. In a majority of states, there is nothing to prevent a worker from being discriminated against or fired simply because of who they love, or because of their gender identity or expression. And LGBT workers’ partners and families can be unfairly excluded from workplace policies and benefits like health coverage or family leave.

A UFCW union contract is often the only protection LGBT workers and their families have from these indignities. The UFCW is proud to play a part in the growing momentum towards equality – from bargaining union contracts that recognize LGBT workers and their families, to fighting for change at the state level, to marching in solidarity at pride parades and celebrations in towns across America.”

June 18, 2015

President Perrone: Today’s Fast Track Vote Displays Desperation

via-stopfasttrack.com_

Washington, D.C. — Today, Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, released the following statement in response to the U.S. House passing stand-alone fast track trade legislation.

“Today’s vote in the U.S. House displays the desperate levels that supporters of this terrible trade deal will stoop to, and a complete disregard for America’s workers and their families.

“Instead of addressing the massive failures of past trade agreements, the House and the President have doubled down on a disastrous strategy that will cost jobs, lower wages and worsen already record levels of income inequality.

“Make no mistake, every member of the House, both Republicans and Democrats, who sent Fast Track to the Senate today will be remembered for turning their backs on America’s working families when it mattered most.

“Going forward, we will shift our focus to the Senate where multiple Senators have already expressed doubt about this latest and most frantic attempt to pass Fast Track. We will make clear to every Senator that the best place to stand is against Fast Track and with the hard-working men and women of America.”

###

Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org

We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family deserves.

www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational    @UFCW

June 12, 2015

President Perrone: “The Best Way to Help the Jobless is to Stop Passing Trade Agreements like TPP that Kill Jobs.”

Fast-Track-Stopped-AMP-12June2015

Washington, D.C. — Today, Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, released the following statement in response to the U.S. House failing to advance fast track trade legislation.

“This is a victory for hard-working men and women all across America. In the face of long odds, the American people sent a powerful message that their interests trump narrow political agendas and special interests.

“Today, we saw elected leaders stand up and make clear that the failed promises of global trade agreements, which only seem to serve irresponsible corporations, must come to an end. More importantly, we have seen what hard-working families can accomplish when we stand together and fight for what is right for both workers and this nation.

“With respect to TAA, we support a clean extension of the program, but the best way to help the jobless is to simply stop passing trade agreements like TPP that kill jobs.

“While one vote does not end the fight, our campaign for a better America will continue full speed ahead until the threat of TPP and other unfair trade deals is gone for good.”

###

Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org

We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family deserves.

www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational    @UFCW

June 4, 2015

UFCW Members in Missouri Will Not Rest Until Right to Work is Defeated Once and for All

DSC_0302

Missouri — Dave Cook, President of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 655, Steven Straher, President of UFCW Local 88, and Tom Price, President of UFCW Local 2, representing 20,000 workers across Missouri, today released the following statement in response to Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of right to work legislation.

“On behalf of the 20,000 members of the UFCW in Missouri, we thank Governor Nixon for vetoing a bill designed to silence the voice of workers. Right to work would lower wages and standards across our state and we will continue to fight it tooth and nail until the veto is sustained in September.

“Right to work sounds good on paper, but in reality it means lower paying jobs, fewer benefits, and more dangerous workplaces. It is being pushed by out of state special interests who believe workers do not deserve a say in the terms of their employment. Plain and simple, it’s a corporate giveaway at the expense of everyday Missouri families.

“We’ve been fighting this legislation for 5 years so you better believe we are ready for another three months. Right to work proponents may not have the votes to override now, but the millionaires and billionaires pushing this bill will spend the summer trying to change that. In the meantime, the UFCW will be working with our Republican and Democratic partners in the Legislature to sustain the veto. UFCW members will be reaching out directly to their friends and neighbors to let them know that Missouri cannot afford a future with right to work.

“Simply put, right to work would be a disaster for the hard-working families of our state and the UFCW will not rest until it is defeated once and for all.”

###

Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org
We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family deserves.

www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational    @UFCW

May 13, 2015

UFCW President Perrone in the Washington Post: The Trans-Pacific trade deal is bad news for workers

AMPStatement

The following letter from International President Marc Perrone appeared in the Washington Post.

Edward Alden’s May 7 op-ed, “Why unions need a new trade strategy,” did not detail the devastating impact that unfair trade deals have on hard-working men and women. Mr. Alden was correct that workers need more than talk. They deserve good wages and benefits, fair and reliable schedules, respect on the job and a secure retirement — none of which would come from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

The bluster Mr. Alden mentioned has been coming from supporters of trade. For 40 years, U.S. trade policies have devastated families and led to lost jobs, stagnant wages and rising levels of income inequality. Mr. Alden seemed to ignore this brutal reality in favor of tweaks to a trade model that is flawed at its core.

The truth is that no elected official truly interested in making the economy better and fairer can support the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This trade deal is bad for our workers, families and shared future.

The Washington and Wall Street establishments say this deal will be different. It will not be. So the labor movement, workers and all those who want a fairer and more just America should not be fooled into supporting it.

Marc Perrone, Washington

May 13, 2015

UFCW President Perrone: Hard-Working Americans Have Sent a Message Loud and Clear—No TPP

no_tpp1

WASHINGTON, D.C.Marc Perrone, International President of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement after the Senate failed to advance fast track legislation.

“All across this country, hard-working Americans from every political stripe have sent a message loud and clear—no more trade deals that destroy American jobs and families. The failure of the Senate to advance fast track legislation is not only a stinging defeat for supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); it makes clear that the American people will not be fooled into supporting another bad trade deal.

“Just a few weeks ago, all of the pundits believed that fast track and the TPP were a lock to pass: they were wrong. Our 1.3 million members, the entire labor movement, progressive Democrats, and conservative Republicans have all stood up and spoke out against this disastrous trade deal. More importantly, this is what is possible when we all stand together and fight for what is right for our families, our jobs, and our nation. While this battle is far from over, we can only hope that President Obama and every TPP supporter hears the voices of the American people and understands that this is a fight they cannot and should not win.”

###

Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org

We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family deserves.

www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational    @UFCW

May 1, 2015

UFCW President Perrone: With all due respect to President Obama, TPP will hurt hard-working families

DSC_0026

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Marc Perrone, International President of the largest private sector union in the nation, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), sent letters to all 535 members of the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate urging them to listen to hard-working families and oppose fast tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Perrone also directly responds to the assertion made by President Obama, and others, that critics of TPP and Fast Track do not understand the agreement.

“With all due respect to President Obama and the elected politicians who support this trade deal, this agreement will hurt hard-working families, workers, and our shared future,” said Perrone in the letter to Congress.

He further adds, “In actuality, we understand the harsh reality that workers and families will again pay the price.“

The letter details why fast tracking the TPP would make life more difficult for hard-working American families.

The following are excerpts from the letter:

“For over three decades, fast track trade deals have brought broken promises–not prosperity –to hard-working families. During the recent era of free trade agreements families have endured lost jobs, stagnant wages and rising levels of income inequality.

“In the face of these truths, we are told by those who support this bad trade deal that we are misunderstanding the positives. In actuality, we understand the harsh reality that workers and families will again pay the price.”

“For Members of Congress to accept a trade deal that will govern 40% of the world’s GDP with no opportunity to make changes that would ensure the interests of hard-working families isn’t just wrong–it’s dangerous.”

“Given the impact these agreements will have on our nation, we need more debate on trade, not less.”

“At a time when our elected leaders should be focusing on raising wages, creating more opportunity, and addressing income inequality, ‘fast track’ trade promotion authority accomplishes the opposite. With that in mind, we strongly urge you to vote no.”

The full letter to members of the House and Senate is pasted below.

###

Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org

We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family deserves.

www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational    @UFCW

Dear Members of Congress:

On behalf of the 1.3 million hard-working men and women of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), I urge you to oppose “fast track” trade promotion authority. With all due respect to President Obama and the elected politicians who support this trade deal, this agreement will hurt hard-working families, workers, and our shared future.

For over three decades, fast track trade deals have brought broken promises–not prosperity–to hard-working families. During the recent era of free trade agreements families have endured lost jobs, stagnant wages and rising levels of income inequality. In the face of these truths, we are told by those who support this bad trade deal that we are misunderstanding the positives. In actuality, we understand the harsh reality that workers and families will again pay the price.

Fast track has been used to push through some of our nation’s most destructive trade agreements and the TPP may be the worst yet. It would roll back regulations that could be construed as a “barrier to trade,” which includes environmental, consumer, and labor protections. And it has been put together in secret, with the advice and counsel of hundreds of corporate special interests but absolutely no input from labor or other groups that fight on behalf of the working and middle classes.

For Members of Congress to accept a trade deal that will govern 40% of the world’s GDP with no opportunity to make changes that would ensure the interests of hard-working families isn’t just wrong – it’s dangerous. Given the impact these agreements will have on our nation, we need more debate on trade, not less.

At a time when our elected leaders should be focusing on raising wages, creating more opportunity, and addressing income inequality, “fast track” trade promotion authority accomplishes the opposite.

With that in mind, we strongly urge you to vote no.

Sincerely,

Anthony M. Perrone
International President