News and Updates
October 23, 2012
At last night’s third and final presidential debate, Mitt Romney once again demonstrated that he is willing to say anything to get elected, and his shifting positions on domestic and foreign policy and willingness to lie and pander have raised questions about what he stands for and how he will govern.
Our country can’t afford to go back to the Bush/Cheney policies that proved disastrous here at home and abroad. President Obama is the only candidate with the vision and experience to lead our country in the right direction—forward.
Here’s what UFCW members had to say following the debate:
“i think obama won this debate….he has more foreign policy knowledge than romney….i am so glad the debates are done…the people will show their choice on november 6th. obama 2012…moving forward!”
“obama is strong! vote democrat if u care about 100% of our citizens”
“gov. romney uses a thousand words to say absolutely nothing.”
“mr obama has my respect”
“4 more years obama has my vote”
October 17, 2012
Last night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University shed more light on Mitt Romney’s evasions, contradictions and outright lies about his position on policies that affect the poor and middle class. Once again, he tried to portray himself as a man who empathizes with working families, but, as President Obama pointed out, Romney’s extreme positions on education, immigration, taxes, pay equity and health care tell a very different story.
Romney and his running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, have made it clear that they intend to make significant cuts to K-12 education, as well Pell grants and job training. They are against comprehensive immigration reform. They do not support the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and and want to repeal “Obamacare” and take us back to the days where people are denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. The only groups benefiting from the Romney/Ryan plan are the wealthy few—whose taxes would be cut even further — and corporations, which would receive tax breaks for shipping good middle class jobs overseas.
Romney couldn’t make up his mind about jobs during this debate, covering just about every position throughout the two hour and a half hour broadcast:
- “I’m going to make sure you get a job. Thanks Jeremy. Yeah, you bet.”
- “As president, I will create 12 million new jobs.”
- “The government doesn’t create jobs.”
Talk about flip-flopping. Meanwhile, President Obama spoke eloquently about his vision for bring not just any jobs, but good paying jobs back to America.
We can’t afford to go back to the same old trickle down policies that got us into this economic mess in the first place. This debate made it clear that President Obama is committed to making life better for working families and our most vulnerable citizens.
October 5, 2012
For those of you who don’t know Phil Meza, a.k.a. “Mr. Picketman,” the UFCW Local 1428 member got his nickname during a rally one day, after he scrawled out a song on the back of his picket sign – a song he would soon lead the crowd in singing. Music has been a lifetime hobby for Picketman, but, throughout his 20 years as a union member and Albertson’s employee in Southern California (where he served as a department manager for years, and then as a front end service supervisor) he’s developed ideas for songs that he could use to help further the fight to protect working families.
Check out the latest Picketman video here:
Paid for by United Food and Commercial Workers Active Ballot Club Education Fund
1775 K Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20006
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
October 4, 2012
This week’s decision by a Pennsylvania judge to halt the state’s new voter identification law, ordering that it not be enforced for the presidential election, is a step in the right direction. Voter ID laws target those who are least likely to have photo IDs or to be able to afford any, and make it harder for people—including minorities, seniors and low-income voters—to exercise their right to vote.
With the election just five weeks away, the ruling by Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson means that voters in Pennsylvania will not be required to show photo ID at the polls on Election Day—making it easier for all eligible Pennsylvanians to participate in this important election.
Pennsylvania is a swing state with 20 electoral votes up for grabs. According to recent surveys compiled by RealClearPolitics, President Obama is leading in statewide opinion polls by an average of 8 points.
Mitt Romney: A Man of the People?
After dismissing half of the American people as “victims” at a private fundraiser in May, it’s amazing that Romney would try to hoodwink middle class and low- income voters into thinking that he cares about them. In last night’s debate, Romney tried to portray himself as a man of the people and said that he would not raise taxes on middle-class families or reduce the share of taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans.
Don’t be fooled. Romney and his and his running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, have made it clear that they are planning to pay for more tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of America’s workers and the poor. They want to make significant cuts to programs that serve the poor and middle class—including cuts to K-12 education, job training and grants which help kids go to college, replacing Medicare with a voucher system that would increase health care costs for seniors, and gutting Medicaid for the working poor.
The only groups benefiting from the Romney/Ryan plan would be the wealthiest Americans—whose tax cuts would be permanent if Romney and Ryan have their way—and corporations, which would receive tax breaks even as they continue to ship good middle class jobs overseas.
With the election only five weeks away, America’s workers face a stark choice between an opportunist who favors the wealthy one percent at the expense of the young, the elderly, the sick and the poor, and a leader who has given a voice to those who are too often overlooked and is fighting to create jobs and prosperity for all Americans.
Voting in Ohio is underway!
Early voting has begun in the swingiest of swing states – good old Ohio. After a bumpy ramp up to early voting, involving some bizarre actions on the part of Ohio Secretary of State John Husted, things appear to be running smoothly. So far, early voting numbers are high compared with four years ago. Seems like the people of Ohio are ready to get their vote on! If you’re looking for more information on early voting in Ohio, click here. And if you’re not in Ohio, don’t despair! Early voting will continue to spread around the country over the coming weeks. More specifically: California Oct. 7; Indiana Oct. 9; Arizona Oct. 11; Georgia Oct. 15; Kansas Oct. 17; Tennessee Oct. 17; North Carolina Oct. 18; Nevada Oct. 20; New Mexico Oct. 20; Alaska Oct. 22; North Dakota Oct. 22; Arkansas Oct. 22; Colorado Oct. 22; D.C. Oct. 22; Illinois Oct. 22; Texas Oct. 22; Wisconsin Oct.22; Hawaii Oct. 23; Louisiana Oct. 23; Utah Oct. 23; West Virginia Oct. 24; Florida Oct. 27; Maryland Oct. 27; Oklahoma Nov. 2
September 21, 2012
We asked our members ‘What are you doing or going to do to make sure working families win this November?”
“Having my church have voter registration available for all the young people and seniors”
“I sent $ to the DNC and i am proudly displaying my Obama/Biden bumper sticker”
“Not voting for Romney”
“Go to vote”
“Phone banking and canvasing- also taking anyone to vote early that will let me”
“Voting for Obama!”
“Passing better legislation”
“Helping a local state senate candidate”
“helping whenever needed”
“i’m reminding everyone i speak to is we need to move forward not backwards”
“I’m gonna drag everything that ain’t glued down 2 the polls…lol”
“Lookin’ 4 help to start a union at my Walmart”“Stand up for my rights”
“Tryn’ to make sure everyone that i know votes in November!”
“I work on the polls for our rights that the G.O.P. is trying to take away from us”
“Making sure the working class understand that president Obama is the best candidate for our future and we need to keep moving forward!!!!”
“Run for state rep”
If you want to join the UFCW rapid response team and be part of the next poll, sign up to receive text messages by texting JOIN to MYUFCW (698329). Your feedback could be the next to be featured on the UFCW blog.
September 20, 2012
Exciting news! As promised, Phil Meza, a.k.a. Mr. Picketman, has just released his new song for Obama 2012!
Some may not be familiar with Mr. Picketman, but as a member of Local 1428, his contributions to the fight for working families are an inspiration, not only because of the time and effort he puts forth to the cause, but his musical talents as well. Meza has created several hip-hop songs dedicated to various causes in the labor movement, including the 2008 Obama campaign, and this year’s Wisconsin recall effort of Governor Scott Walker. Additionally, he has worked with OUR Walmart to create songs that highlight Walmart’s anti-worker agenda.
And now, Meza adds to his list of labor-inspired works with “Obama 2012”. Just as catchy as his previous beats, the song is a strong call to all of our brothers and sister to vote in this election for President Obama.
“The choice is evident, it’s time to re-elect the president,” Meza raps on the song. His message may be simple, but it could not be more important: President Obama is the candidate we need in the white house next year, because he will “stand with the working class”.
Check out the Mr. Picketman’s song here!
June 14, 2011
Washington, D.C. – The following remarks were delivered by United Food and Commercial Workers International Union President Joseph T. Hansen at the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness meeting in Durham, N.C. on June 13:
“I look at the work of this council as an effort to look at primarily non-legislative approaches to address the plight of the millions of unemployed or underemployed workers in this country.
“I believe we need to play to our country’s strengths. While not as sexy as some things you will hear today, one of our country’s strengths is agriculture—directly employing over 2 million Americans. And when you add related processing, distribution and retail jobs, that number grows to almost 4 million.
“The UFCW represents over 300,000 workers in food manufacturing—mainly in meat and poultry processing. The U.S. meat and poultry industry directly employs 1.8 million people and pays $45.5 billion in wages and benefits. An estimated 580,000 people have jobs in distribution of meat and poultry products, and over 1 million more retail jobs depend on the sale of meat and poultry products to the public. The meat and poultry industry is a growing industry with growing employment.
“Exports are a significant—and increasingly important driver—of this job growth.
- For every $1 billion in beef exports, over 12,000 jobs are created.
- For every $1 billion in pork exports, over 13,000 jobs are created.
- For every $1 billion in poultry exports, over 11,000 jobs are created.
“Industry economists believe that a focused governmental effort to address barriers to United States’ meat exports to Asian countries has the potential to add thousands of jobs in the U.S. Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Kirk have done important work in this area. We have already begun to see results. China has started to recognize that it is in their self-interest to address their domestic food situation by cracking open their import door to U.S. meat. As a result, food exports to China are growing strongly.
“Right now, we have additional opportunities with Russia. Since Russia is looking to join the World Trade Organization, it is important to get their commitment to drop their various methods of blocking U.S. meat imports. I know Ambassador Kirk and his team are aware of these issues, but I wanted to take this opportunity to stress the impact these issues have on U.S. jobs.
“Along with meat exports, I wanted to take this opportunity to stress another issue—the importance of traditional defined benefit pensions in the economic health of this country. Virtually all economists agree that the U.S. economy needs to be rebalanced:
- We need more national saving, investment, and new business formation; and
- We need less debt fueled consumption.
“The continuance of defined benefit pension plans needs to be part of that rebalancing. In 2007, public and private defined benefit pension plans had nearly $9 trillion in assets and, in the aggregate, these plans were almost fully funded. The downturn in financial markets reduced many of the plans’ funding. There is a consensus among labor and employers that there is a need for relief – not to change the requirement to fully fund pensions, but to extend the time frame for achieving such funding.
“Defined benefit plans have made significant investments in infrastructure in support of job generation in the U.S. We cannot afford to lose this source of funds which help create jobs. A well-thought out program of federal government guarantees and other financial incentives directed at pension investors could encourage such plans to invest even greater allocations to rebuilding America’s infrastructure. We hope that the Administration and Congress can work to achieve these goals.
“Finally, Mr. President, I want to thank you for keeping America’s unemployed at the top of your Administration’s priorities. I look forward to working with the council to help you continue to create job opportunities for American workers. Thank you.”