• Background Image

    News and Updates

    On Point

February 26, 2018

Local 1208 Marches in HKonJ Rally in North Carolina

Members of UFCW Local 1208 joined thousands of allies at the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People’s Assembly Coalition rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Feb. 10. The march focused on voting rights, equal rights and other social justice issues. UFCW Local 1208 has joined this march numerous times, beginning with the Smithfield campaign.

The HKonJ People’s Assembly Coalition is made up of more than 125 North Carolina NAACP branches, youth councils and college chapters from across the state, as well as members of over 200 other social justice organizations.

February 26, 2018

Local 152 Pitman Manor Workers in New Jersey Ratify First Contract

On Feb. 12, members of UFCW Local 152 who work at Pitman Manor in Pitman, New Jersey, ratified their first union contract by an overwhelming margin. Pitman manor is an assisted living community and is part of United Methodist Homes of New Jersey. The 110 workers joined UFCW Local 152 last August because they were concerned about wages, health benefits, and wanted a voice in the workplace.

The new three-year agreement includes guaranteed wage increases, and excellent health, welfare, life and prepaid legal benefits that resulted in a substantial cost reduction for the new membership. The agreement also includes language that addresses just cause provisions, seniority rights, grievance and arbitration, and enhanced bereavement.

February 20, 2018

UFCW Responds to White House Request to Test Harvest Box Plan

On Feb. 15, UFCW International President Marc Perrone issued a statement regarding the White House asking Congress for $30 million this year to test the “America’s Harvest Box” proposal in President Trump’s fiscal 2019 budget. This proposal would significantly change the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps).

Perrone’s statement reads as follows:

“Whether you are Republican or Democrat, pro-union or not, shop at a big grocery store or a small local co-op, ‘America’s Harvest Box’ is one of the worst policy proposals ever made to address hunger and poverty. It will further worsen the economic divide across the country and must be stopped for the sake of the better America we all believe in.

“The harvest box proposal punishes the poor, removes significant sales from local grocery stores, and needlessly puts millions of good grocery store jobs at risk of being eliminated.

“The grocery stores our members work in are often the largest employers in their communities, and provide the wages and benefits necessary for hard-working families to build and live better lives.”


February 20, 2018

Region 1 Takes a Stand Against Lidl in New Jersey

Region 1 locals have taken a stand against low wages and poor benefits at a Lidl store in Vineland, New Jersey, and are encouraging members of the Vineland community to protect jobs with good wages and benefits by shopping at local ShopRite Supermarkets and Acme Markets. Region 1 locals have maintained a picket line in front of the Lidl store since last November.

“Every local in New Jersey has committed staff and volunteer members to walk the picket line in solidarity with Local 152 in their stand against Lidl,” said International Vice President and Director of Region 1 Dave Young. “I’m proud of the level of cooperation and strength in membership during these important actions.”

February 20, 2018

Local 919 Burlington Coat Factory Workers Ratify New Contract

On Feb. 2, 37 full- and part-time Burlington Coat Factory workers in New London, Connecticut, unanimously ratified a new contract.

The new three-year agreement guarantees $1.30 increase in wages, improved bereavement coverage, nine-day advanced scheduling, and doubled travel pay reimbursement. The agreement also includes an improved grievance procedure and new hire union orientation language that allows the Business Agent to hold quarterly meetings at the store on company time to introduce workers to the union.

February 20, 2018

Local 653 Lunds & Byerlys Workers in Minneapolis Ratify New Contract

More than 2,100 members of UFCW Local 653 who work at Lunds & Byerlys grocery stores in Minneapolis and nearby suburbs ratified a new contract on Feb. 11. The three-year agreement includes an increase in wages and better benefits, and the total economic value of the contract is over $60 million over the first year alone.

The new agreement raises wages for part-time and full-time workers during each year of the contract, and the average wage increase over the three-year contract for all workers is $3,708.89.

“This raise will provide more financial stability and economic independence for myself and my family. Since I’m part-time, making more money and only having to work one job makes me worry less each month. It means a lot,” said Taddeo Balma, who works in the produce department of Lunds & Byerlys in Minnetonka.

The contract increases the number and security of full-time positions, and improves the quality of part-time positions. Five hundred and fifteen workers will become regular part-time, which guarantees them increased take home pay, as well as three weeks paid vacation after eight years, six national holidays, bereavement leave for domestic partners, jury duty, and ancillary benefits that include dental, vision, life, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

“When you are part-time, it comes down to the bottom line. I’m on Medicare, and the dental ancillary benefit is huge. It adds a tremendous value to my life,” said Mary Heintz of the Burnsville Lunds & Byerlys, who will now become a regular part-time employee.

Workers who qualify for the 401(k) retirement program will continue to receive contributions that were negotiated between the union and Lunds & Byerlys. These include full-time contributions from $2 to $4 an hour and part-time is $1.35 an hour.

Workers will also enjoy expanded non-discrimination language that covers gender, gender identification, pregnancy, veterans, and criminal record after employment. Employees who return on breaks from high school and college will retain seniority. New to the contract is automation language that gives notice to employees and training opportunities if any technology is implemented in the store.

“I applaud our members for saying ‘yes’ by voting in this new three-year contract,” said UFCW Local 653 President Matt Utecht. “In the 37 years that I have been with Local 653, this contract brings the most dramatic improvements to the most workers that I’ve ever seen. I’m proud that our union bargaining committee worked together with Lunds & Byerlys to make so many working families’ lives better.”

February 13, 2018

New “How To” Video Features Local 1000 Kroger Florist

Michelle Garrett, a member of UFCW Local 1000 who works as a florist at a Kroger store in Texas, is back to show you how to create a beautiful bouquet for Valentine’s Day in the UFCW’s new “how to” video.

This video is part of a series of “how to” tips from UFCW members who are experts in their fields. In addition to Michelle’s tips about how to create a beautiful floral arrangement, the series features expert advice from a UFCW butcher, produce clerk, prep cook, cake decorator and makeup artist.

You can watch Michelle create a Valentine’s Day bouquet here. You can also subscribe to UFCW’s “how to” videos here.

February 13, 2018

UFCW Members Make Valentine’s Day Happen

From sparkling wines to See’s candies, UFCW members are making Valentine’s Day a little sweeter for people in communities across the country.

One example is Rob, a member of UFCW Local 1776 and a Wine Specialist at the Fine Wine & Good Spirits store 4646 in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

“When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I always recommend sparkling wine because it is popular, versatile and celebratory, i.e. ‘pop the cork,’” he said.  “Sparkling wine can be used at any time before, during or after dinner.”

There are many varieties of sparkling wine, but Rob recommends sparkling wines from California, Prosecco from Italy, or the classic: champagne from France.

On the West Coast, Becky at See’s candy has been a member of UFCW Local 5 since 2002. Now an assistant store manager, Becky’s experience is put to good use during one of her store’s busiest times of year–Valentine’s Day.

“We serve anywhere from 200 to 600 people a day,” she said.

If you’re planning to buy a sweet treat for a special someone this Valentine’s Day, Becky recommends getting one of See’s pre-filled 1-pound heart boxes if you’re in a hurry, or using their handy candy menu at sees.com to hand select each individual chocolate inside.

UFCW members also have access to exclusive discounts for Valentine’s Day. You can save 25 percent on flowers and gifts from Teleflora. Get more information here and make someone’s Valentine’s Day special.

February 13, 2018

UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship Deadline Is May 13

Every year, the UFCW Charity Foundation’s scholarship program offers scholarships to UFCW members or their immediate family members who want to further their education and demonstrate a commitment to their communities and UFCW values.  Since 1958, the fund has distributed more than $2 million in scholarships.

Past winners have gone on to make significant contributions to society and to the UFCW – entering a range of fields including public service, medicine, law, business and teaching.  Many have returned to the UFCW as staffers, organizers, and community activists who contribute to our mission.

The UFCW Charity Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for 2018. All applications will be due by May 13, 2018.  You can get more information about the UFCW’s scholarship program here.

February 13, 2018

Severance Foods Workers in Connecticut Join Local 371

On Feb. 1, 51 workers at Severance Foods, Inc. in Hartford, Connecticut, voted to join UFCW Local 371. The workers at Severance Foods manufacture a large variety of tortilla chips that are distributed worldwide.

In spite of union-busting tactics and intimidation, the workers were determined to join UFCW Local 371 because they were concerned about wages, medical insurance, and respect in the workplace.

“We voted to unionize to get better benefits, sick days, better safety equipment and raises,” said Severance Foods worker Jan Paul Calo.

On Jan. 31, members of UFCW Local 371, along with elected officials and community allies, stood in solidarity with the Severance Foods workers as they prepared to cast their votes in a secret ballot election to join our union. Organizers used Hustle, the innovative texting app, to reach out to workers at Severance Foods, as well as to coordinate the rally before the vote.