News and Updates
October 30, 2017
Workers at Bob’s Discount Furniture and Century 21 in New York joined UFCW Local 888 on Oct. 17.
The 33 workers at Bob’s Discount Furniture store in Brooklyn wanted to be part of UFCW Local 888 for a voice in the workplace. The workers, who sell furniture, join their over 200 brothers and sisters at six other Bob’s Discount Furniture stores in New York and New Jersey who are also members of UFCW Local 888.
“The election at Bob’s Brooklyn proved, once again, that when workers unite, they can achieve their goals despite strong employer opposition,” said UFCW Local 888 President Max Bruny. “This was our second attempt at organizing this location and kudos to our organizing team for not giving up. The key to our success has been our ability to leverage the power of our organized members at the other six locations in New York. Our Bob’s Discount Furniture members are getting involved because they understand that increased union membership directly translates into increased bargaining power.”
The 148 workers at the Century 21 store in Yonkers were also concerned about having a voice in the workplace, and wanted the same security and benefits as their over 2,000 organized brothers and sisters in New York City and New Jersey.
October 23, 2017
Although Latinas make substantial contributions to the U.S. economy, they have the largest wage gap, typically earning only 54 cents for every dollar earned by White, non-Hispanic men. You can help us fight unfair and unequal wages by supporting hard-working Latinas on Thursday, Nov. 2.
Latinas must work more than 22 months to earn what White men earn in 12 months. This disparity in pay hurts not only Latinas, but also has a significant impact on the families and communities they support.
Please get involved and help us draw attention to this economic disparity by joining the Twitter storm (#LatinaEqualPay and #Trabajadoras) on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 2-3 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional information about Latina Equal Pay Day is available here.
October 23, 2017
On Oct. 23, the UFCW joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in a lawsuit against President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Department of Homeland Security in response to the Trump administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The joint legal action makes clear that the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA disregarded the due process rights of the DACA registrants, and failed to engage in the required analysis or rulemaking procedures required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, both of which are laws put into place to safeguard the public against this very type of impulsiveness by leaders in powerful positions.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone issued the following statement about joining the lawsuit:
“While we support the effort to find a bipartisan solution to protect the rights of DACA recipients, ending DACA without regard to due process or proper rulemaking is not only a betrayal of the 800,000 individuals who have always and only called the United States their home, it needlessly jeopardizes the rights and procedures that protect every American citizen.
“No matter one’s politics or the administration, every person in this country deserves due process. Moreover, our government can’t function without adhering to certain rules and procedures. Ignoring them jeopardizes the rights and freedoms of us all.
“With respect to DACA recipients, these young men and women love this country, and it is their home. They work side by side with us, live in our communities, and are dedicated members of our union family and countless others. They, like all of us, want nothing more than to build a better life for themselves and their families.
“The legal action we have taken with the NAACP and AFT is critical to protecting and ensuring the rights and freedoms of DACA recipients, and every person who calls this nation their home.”
October 23, 2017
After months of negotiations, around 7,300 Food 4 Less workers in Southern California, who are members of UFCW Locals 8GS, 135, 324, 770, 1167, 1428 and 1442, ratified a new contract by an overwhelming margin on Oct. 17. The workers are employed at about 100 Food 4 Less stores throughout Southern California.
The new three-year contract protects our union-sponsored health and welfare and pension plans. The agreement also increases wages, and makes sure our members stay ahead of the minimum wage as it goes up either nationally, statewide, within the county, or locally.
“After six long months of bargaining, the seven locals coordinated together to bargain a great contract for our union family in Southern California,” said Bryan Wynn, director of Region 8. “They stood strong to fight back concessions and to protect the members at Food 4 Less, and I congratulate all of the local union presidents for their leadership and their staff. I’m proud of our members for standing up against our largest employer to make our union family stronger.”
October 23, 2017
Recently, 800 workers at Seaboard Triumph Foods in Sioux City, Iowa, voted to join UFCW Local 222. Seaboard Triumph Foods is a new, state of the art pork slaughter and processing plant, which opened this September. In the near future, the company will add a second shift, which will increase the size of the unit to over 2,000 workers.
Because the UFCW represents other Seaboard plants in Oklahoma and Missouri and has established good labor-management relations, we were able to work out an election agreement with the company, which included card check recognition. Staff from Region 6 and our FPPM Division were able to sign up a majority of the workforce in two and a half days.
“Packing house workers deserve decent wages, benefits, and safe working conditions provided by union representation and a union contract,” said UFCW Local 222 President Dan Risner. “We welcome Seaboard Triumph Foods workers into our UFCW Local 222 family!”
“I would like to recognize UFCW Local 2 President Martin Rosas for his assistance in helping us organize this plant,” said Tish Ramirez, director of Region 6. “Because of his working relationship with the company, we were able to reach an agreement that led to a voice at work for working men and women at Seaboard Triumph. The efforts of Local 222, Region 6 and the FPPM Division collectively continue to grow and build a stronger UFCW.”
October 16, 2017
On Oct. 3, Wisconsin Physicians Service (WPS) workers in Madison, Wisconsin, who are members of UFCW Local 1473, ratified a new contract after 13 months of negotiations. The WPS workers administer health care claims to veterans, active duty military, seniors, and customers in the private sector.
The 31-month agreement, which expires on May 31, 2020, provides wage increases based on tenure and increased productivity, while continuing affordable benefits programs that are necessary for the security of members and their families.
“Solidarity of the union membership has prevailed in delivering this contract,” said UFCW Local 1473 President and International Vice President John Eiden. “Our members remain committed to providing the highest quality service to our veterans, active duty military, seniors, and private health customers. Union members are proud to continue to provide this respectful, quality service, including to the many who deserve it most—those who have earned it through their service to our country.”
October 16, 2017
The three-year contract ensures that no one falls below a 7.5 percent increase in wages through the duration of the agreement. The contract also includes a more robust Labor Management Committee, a pilot project to find solutions to the daily overtime many of the workers face, and new membership language that will build a stronger union.
October 16, 2017
On Oct. 11, UFCW International President Marc Perrone sent a letter to the Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture explaining why a recent petition by the National Chicken Council to eliminate line speeds at poultry plants poses a dangerous risk to American families.
“This petition, submitted to you in early September, would allow select poultry plants to run their lines with no speed limits, endangering both workers and consumers. Even more troubling is that this petition essentially requests that USDA create this new “no speed limit” rule behind closed doors with no opportunity for notice and comment by the public as the regulatory process requires,” Perrone wrote.
President Perrone’s entire letter can be read below.
Dear Madam Acting Deputy Undersecretary Rottenberg:
With the health and safety of over 250,000 thousand hard-working poultry workers in mind, 70,000 of whom are members of our union family, we write to urge you to reject a petition submitted by the National Chicken Council (NCC) to run food processing lines with no speed limits.
This petition, submitted to you in early September, would allow select poultry plants to run their lines with no speed limits, endangering both workers and consumers. Even more troubling is that this petition essentially requests that USDA create this new “no speed limit” rule behind closed doors with no opportunity for notice and comment by the public as the regulatory process requires.
As you must know, poultry workers hold some of the most dangerous and difficult jobs in America. The implications of this rule change are striking, for example:
- Industry statistics show poultry workers are at twice the risk of being injured on the job compared to other workers and suffer illnesses at a rate that is seven times as high.
- A 2016 report from the Government Accountability Office showed that forcing lines to move faster will expose poultry workers to higher rates of injuries and illnesses.
- Increased line speeds will also make it harder for both federal inspectors and quality control workers to properly check birds for contamination that could make consumers sick.
Given the facts noted above, the petition from the NCC clearly poses a dangerous risk to American families.
When the USDA chose not to raise line speed limits for poultry plants in 2014, there was large public interest in the open and transparent process (which we participated in) that ensured all perspectives on this proposed modification were heard – including those of the NCC. A wide array of people and interests, from workers on poultry lines to experts across the country, agreed then as they do now that faster line speeds will make this industry dramatically less safe, both for workers and consumers.
For the sake of keeping hard-working families safe – whether they’re preparing, buying, or eating chicken – the USDA must reject this petition.
Anthony “Marc” Perrone
October 10, 2017
On Sept. 29, 90 workers at Delmar Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Delmar, Delaware, voted to join UFCW Local 27 by an overwhelming margin. The unit consists of all full-time and part-time Certified Nursing Assistants, as well as dietary, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance and PRN employees.
The workers were concerned about not receiving any raises over the last several years, unfair treatment by management, not having a voice on the job, understaffing, and questionable PTO calculations. Even though the company hired union busters and tried to intimidate some workers using fear tactics, the workers stood strong and formed a powerful organizing committee.
Three Certified Nursing Assistants at Delmar Nursing and Rehabilitation Center expressed how grateful they were to have union representation.
“It feels awesome to have Local 27 be our representatives. We all feel like it will make a positive difference here at work. We’re now ready for the next step, which is to get a contract that we’re happy with,” said Tierra Griffith.
“It was a great learning experience for us. Thank God that we stood together in unity so that our voices will now be heard,” said Quayshetta Hopkins.
“All the work that we put in to form a union here at work was worth it; now, it’s time to get a great contract that we can be proud of,” said Latroya Robinson.
“The workers’ organizing committee worked hand-in-hand with Local 27’s organizing team, and they educated and inoculated their coworkers,” said Nelson Hill, UFCW Local 27 vice president and director of organizing. “I could not be happier with their efforts and the results of the election. We look forward to successful negotiations, which will translate to a brighter future for the workers there.”
“I’d like to thank and congratulate Nelson Hill and UFCW Local 27’s entire organizing team for all of their hard work in obtaining this great victory for the health care professionals working at Delmar Nursing and Rehab,” said UFCW Local 27 President Jason Chorpenning. “These hard- working men and women have dedicated their lives to caring for those in need, and now for the first time can enjoy the benefits and stability of a union contract. It’s sad to see so many people in this day and age going three to five years without wage increases, as well as having to endure the lack of dignity and constant disrespect from management. I am proud to welcome them into our union family and look forward to working hard to provide them with the best possible union contract we can get them. We will be negotiating to increase pay, improve their working conditions, provide job protection, and guarantee a future for all of these hard-working folks and their families.”
October 10, 2017
The workers were concerned about yearly pay increases, job security, the management team in the department, and wanted due process in the workplace. They were also in favor of UFCW Local 7’s employment and income security agreement, which ensures wages and benefits for one year from the time of job elimination, and has helped those affected by reorganizations and job eliminations find new positions.