News and Updates
November 4, 2014
Members from UFCW locals across the country have been busy getting the vote out in key battleground states including Michigan, Kentucky, Iowa, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania–as well as others.
November 3, 2014
“To elect candidates who want to protect the middle class, not destroy it.” –-Andrew Myers; Swanton, Ohio
“Too many people died to give me this right and it dishonors their legacy for me not to vote.” –Ericka Ferrell; Oxon Hill, Maryland
“Because we need to oust these career corrupt politicians who don’t listen to what we want or need!” –Anthony Giordano; Hamden, Connecticut
“I am voting to protect women’s rights, to protect unions, elderly, students, the environment, voters, the economy and all of the 99%.” –Member from Chillicothe, Ohio
“To stop anti-union candidates!” –Andrew Carillo; Denver, Colorado
“I’m voting this year because I want a governor that is not going to decimate the private sector unions by introducing right to work.” –Donovan Jurss, UFCW Local 1473
“To exercise my right to have my opinion heard and get rid of Mitch” –Jeanelle Fuson; Covington, Kentucky
“I vote every year!!! We need keep Democrats in office!!!!” –Karen; Dalton, Georgia
“Because it’s the right thing to do.” –Leinaala Furtado; Santee, California
“Because it is time to get all the officials elected that care about working people.” –Mary Spicher
“For a better future for my children” –Nikki Rich; House Springs, Montana
“To try to move this country forward–we have been at this road block way too long” –Pam; Spring, Texas
“To make America a better place, and to help the American worker any way I can…go union–keep fighting for America…” –Prisco; Guilford, Connecticut
“To keep the super-rich from completely taking over this country.” –Tom; Feasterville, Pennsylvania
“It takes the entire community to make a change. As a society, if we don’t start picking our leaders more carefully, we will never progress past the sorry state we are in.” –Member from Indianapolis, Indiana
“I’m voting to insure a Democratic victory for this country and the people who are pushed aside and ignored. It’s time to push back.”
“Yes I am [voting]–also doing door knocking and phone-banking.”
“I’m voting because my vote might help to make a difference in the middle class and the lower class in reference to jobs, economy and education.”
We couldn’t be more proud of all of our engaged members who will be voting to make a difference in their communities, and standing up for working people! Make sure you cast your vote on November 4th if you haven’t already voted early. You can make sure you have everything you need by heading to our voter information hub!
October 16, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. —The 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) today announced an aggressive online advertisement campaign in four key battleground elections.
The ads are running through Election Day in Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
In Iowa, the UFCW launched a video that is a twist on Joni Ernst’s original campaign commercial about castrating hogs. “Don’t let Joni Ernst castrate workers’ rights,” the narrator says. Watch the ad here.
In Kentucky, the UFCW launched a video comparing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to milk that has spoiled. “Mitch McConnell’s been in D.C. since 1984. He’s out of date and out of touch with Kentucky,” the narrator says. They also released a video which calls Mitch McConnell’s 30 years in Washington “long enough.” Watch the ads here and here.
In Michigan, the UFCW launched a video highlighting Governor Rick Snyder’s extreme record. Listing his tax increase on seniors and massive education cuts as examples, the narrator calls Snyder “One Clueless Nerd.” Watch the ad here.
In Wisconsin, the UFCW launched a video criticizing Governor Scott Walker for his failed promise on jobs. “Despite promising 250,000 new jobs, he put Wisconsin dead last in job creation,” the narrator says. Watch the ad here.
UFCW members—some of the youngest in the country—are inspired by online political outreach featuring ads that are cutting edge, creative, and fun.
The UFCW is also sending direct mail into these four states along with putting a large number of members and staff on the ground. The contrast in Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin could not be greater. The UFCW is committed to defeating the enemies of working families and electing candidates that will fight for higher wages, better benefits, and the right to organize.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org, or join our online community at www.facebook.com/UFCWinternationaland www.twitter.com/ufcw.
July 15, 2014
UFCW members must be prepared for the November 4thmidterm elections – 2014 cannot be a repeat of 2010. To help make it easier for members to engage politically, we have launched Battleground 2014.
Battleground 2014 provides information about the most important Congressional and Gubernatorial races. UFCW members will be able to use this site to find out more about the candidates and access important voting information and deadlines.
There is a lot at stake on Election Day this year. At the federal level, control of the U.S. Senate is on the line.
Republicans are only six seats away from controlling the Senate and seven of the most vulnerable seats up for election this year are currently held by Democrats. We must work hard to ensure the Senate does not fall into anti-worker hands.
Gubernatorial elections are just as important. Governors from Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, all of which spent the last four years attacking workers, are now up for reelection. They need to be shown that when you hurt workers, you lose elections.
Please share Battleground 2014 with your membership. Workers who are more informed about politics are more likely to vote and make a difference.
June 30, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Joe Hansen, 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 Harris v. Quinn.
“In today’s Harris v. Quinn ruling, the anti-worker Supreme Court sided with those who want to deprive employees of any ability to collectively bargain with their employers. This decision primarily affects home health care workers, but sets a terrible precedent for other Americans seeking a voice on the job.
“This is the Supreme Court’s latest attack on the foundation of our democracy. From weakening the Voting Rights Act to allowing unfettered corporate money in politics, the conservative justices are all too willing to do the bidding of anti-worker special interests. Workers and unions will respond to this latest attack as we always have—by redoubling our efforts to bring a voice on the job and fair wages and working conditions to all Americans.”
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org, or join our online community at www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational and www.twitter.com/ufcw.
June 5, 2014
The UFCW Local 555 union gained a victory last week when Oregon Governor signed Senate Bill 1546 into law. The bill contained a provision grocery workers of the Local 555 had advocated for, in which the penalty for the unintentional sale of alcohol to a minor was reduced. As a result of the bill, the penalty for such a first-time offense went down from a misdemeanor to a Class A Violation. The bill was put into effect immediately after it was signed, with overwhelming support from both the House and Senate. The details and text of the bill can be found here.
The local union was instrumental in getting the bill passed, as local member Sarah DeMerritt had testified in support of the bill before the Oregon Senate. Sarah’s testimony was striking: in June of 2013, DeMerritt was working as a Safeway checker when she sold a six-pack of beer to someone she believed was of legal drinking age but was actually part of an Oregon Liquor Control Commission sting. As she told the committee, “I thought the customer looked old enough to purchase alcohol and was a familiar neighbor that I had carded and sold to in the past.” DeMerritt had passed all previous stings and stresses that she takes her responsibility to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors very seriously.
DeMerritt’s unfortunate experience served as the basis of her advocacy for the bill, which was the focus of the Local 555’s latest UFCW Lobby Day. The passage of the bill serves as proof of the success of coordinated political action by workers committed to making a change. If you or your local union want to attempt to effect change through organizing a Lobby Day, this guide will help you.
March 26, 2014
Local 480 President Pat Loo said that Governor Abercrombie has helped Hawaii turn the corner since taking office in 2010 by creating jobs and reducing unemployment.
Governor Abercrombie appreciated the support and said he looks forward to continue working with UFCW 480 to help build opportunities for the working class.
UFCW Local 480 represents 4,500 workers in Hawaii’s grocery, retail, food processing and meatpacking industries.
February 26, 2014
In Kentucky, UFCW Locals 227 and 75 spent the day in Frankfort where they spoke with legislators about raising the state’s minimum wage and preventing Kentucky from becoming a right to work for less state.
In Missouri, UFCW Locals 655, 88, and 2 lobbied legislators in Jefferson City about expanding Medicaid and how harmful a right to work for less law would be to Missouri’s working families.
UFCW members who participated in lobbying felt like they were making a difference. “Lobby day is important because if we don’t come to Frankfort and tell our law makers exactly how we feel about certain subjects, they may never know,” said Amy Beasley from Local 227. “I think we did a great job, we were well prepared to talk about the issues. We all went into our meetings educated on right to work and the minimum wage bills that we need help from our legislators on. It seems like everybody had a good time and they feel encouraged about how the bills are going to proceed forward.”
UFCW member Jimmy Lappe from Local 655 was most pleased about the UFCW’s show of strength in the Capitol. “It’s incredibly important to come here and show legislators that workers support one another. We have to show legislators that we are a force who stands together and deserves to be heard. Right to work is a threat to all of us, not just a few of us.”
Members from both lobby days said they left knowing legislators better understood their concerns.
January 29, 2014
“Today, the federal minimum wage is worth about twenty percent less than it was when Ronald Reagan first stood here. Tom Harkin and George Miller have a bill to fix that by lifting the minimum wage to $10.10. This will help families. It will give businesses customers with more money to spend. It doesn’t involve any new bureaucratic program. So join the rest of the country. Say yes. Give America a raise.”
Along with issuing an executive order that creates a $10.10 minimum wage for federal contractors, President Obama called on Congress to pass the Harkin-Miller bill which would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10, index it to inflation, and ensure no one who works full-time in America lives in poverty.
“Citizenship means standing up for everyone’s right to vote. Last year, part of the Voting Rights Act was weakened. But conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats are working together to strengthen it; and the bipartisan commission I appointed last year has offered reforms so that no one has to wait more than a half hour to vote. Let’s support these efforts. It should be the power of our vote, not the size of our bank account, that drives our democracy.”
Every single American has the right to vote, but being forced to wait hours to exercise this right is unfair and wrong. President Obama’s bipartisan voting commission has and will continue to take steps towards making sure every eligible voter can access the polls.
“I’m also convinced we can help Americans return to the workforce faster by reforming unemployment insurance so that it’s more effective in today’s economy. But first, this Congress needs to restore the unemployment insurance you just let expire for 1.6 million people.”
Millions of Americans are still without a job and struggling to make ends meet. President Obama called for the restoration of unemployment insurance because it is simply wrong to cut off assistance to people who lost their job through no fault of their own.
“Finally, if we are serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement – and fix our broken immigration system.”
President Obama, along with most Americans and the UFCW believe that aspiring Americans should be allowed to step out of the shadows and onto a fair path to citizenship.
The State of the Union made it clear that President Obama wants to assist Americans who have not yet seen or felt a full recovery from the Great Recession. It is time for Congress to do their part to help working families find the success they deserve in 2014.
January 22, 2014
The past few years have shown progress, but too many Americans have yet to see the economic recovery that they deserve.
Working class families are being attacked from all sides. Increasing levels of income inequality are threatening their economic mobility. No rights at work laws are weakening the basic right of workers to stick together. Cuts to jobless benefits and food stamp programs are forcing people who were already struggling to somehow live on even less.
President Obama is expected to touch on these issues and more in his State of the Union address – as he should.
There is a growing realization in America that the income gap has grown to unacceptable proportions. This did not happen overnight. For decades, groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have carried water for large corporations and special interests by promoting and passing bills that oppose minimum wage standards and anti-poverty programs.
Working people across the country are tired of being denied their fair share and they’re fighting back. Legislation and referendums seeking to raise the minimum wage have been promoted and passed in multiple states.
There is also hope within both sides of the U.S. Congress that the Harkin-Miller bill, a piece of federal legislation which would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and index it to inflation, will be considered in the coming year.
Along with policies to help reverse the rising tide of economic disparity, President Obama is expected to renew the push for common sense immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. A majority of Americans continue to agree that the time is now for comprehensive immigration reform – may 2014 be the year both chambers listen.
What would you like to see discussed in the State of the Union Address? What issues are affecting the state of your union?
We’ll read your responses and post them on the blog next week before the President’s State of the Union Address. We’ll also tweet some of your responses at President Obama to remind him what working people are saying.