News and Updates
March 5, 2018
The workers were concerned about low wages, insufficient benefits, and not having a voice in the workplace. They were united in their belief that joining our union family will lead to a better life.
“After being there for some time, I realize that nothing was going to change unless we did something about it,” said Tammy Timmons. “I think that having a union is the change we need.”
“Something needed to be done,” said Genell Fontaine. “If we didn’t do it, the company wouldn’t either.”
“We needed a union,” said Danica Alexandre. “We needed better wages, better working conditions, and respect we deserve on the job.”
“I felt having a union is the best way to get what we want: better wages, better health care, better working conditions, and better treatment on the job,” said Erica Nelson.
“This victory was a very good win for these hard-working workers at Berlin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and they voted to join our union by over a two to one margin,” said UFCW Local 27 President Jason Chorpenning. “Our organizers worked very hard and the vote showed it. It was an amazing show of solidarity by the workers. As these new members stand together, Local 27 will help them change their lives for the better. I want to welcome our new sisters and brothers to our family at Local 27.”
February 13, 2018
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.
January 29, 2018
On Jan. 19, workers at Presbyterian Home for Central New York in New Hartford, New York, voted in favor of joining UFCW Local One’s Professional and Health Care Division. The unit consists of licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, as well as housekeepers, secretaries, and service, maintenance, and dietary workers.
“We are delighted to welcome our newest members from the Presbyterian Home,” said UFCW Local One President Frank DeRiso. “This organizing committee had to endure an onslaught of anti-union efforts, unfair labor practice charges, illegal captive audience meetings, benefit promises and more. It’s nice to see that they stuck together and worked so hard for this.”
January 16, 2018
The workers wanted a voice in their workplace and an end to “at will” employment. They also wanted to become a part of ICWUC Local 252C and the Atomic Trades and Labor Council. ICWUC Local 252C President Greg Malone, Chief Steward James Woody, Recording Secretary Jackie Martin, Secretary Treasurer Chris Beatty, Vice President Thomas Duncan, and the members of ICWUC Local 252C played a key part in this organizing victory.
“I would like to think the members who worked hard to make this happen,” Malone said. “I would also like to thank Charles Smith and Rhonda Hawn for helping our committee understand the complex issues associated with the Rad Techs.”
The ICWUC is proud to welcome these 95 workers to our union and look forward to helping them negotiate their first contract.
January 8, 2018
Workers at AOC Resins in Valparaiso, Indiana, recently voted to join the International Chemical Workers Union Council (ICWUC) of the UFCW by an overwhelming margin. AOC is a plastic fabrication company, and the workers wanted a voice in their workplace.
“Working class people have no one to trust but themselves. We know what we need and we know as individuals our voices are ignored,” said Kyle Gatlin, an operator at AOC Resins. “It’s only when we accept the idea ‘what’s good for one is good for all’ will we be able to change the conditions of our labor. For the past few months, we have driven towards a common goal of unionizing all hourly employees and accomplishing that goal felt amazing. The ICWUC has been with us for every need along the way, and this wouldn’t have been possible without Lance Heasley’s guidance.”
The ICWUC is proud to welcome all of these workers to our union and looks forward to helping them negotiate their first contract.
December 18, 2017
In 2017, workers from around the country who work in a variety of industries ranging from food and non-food retail to health care stood together for a better life by joining our union family.
Max Storey, who works a Seward Community Co-op store on Franklin Ave. in south Minneapolis joined his colleagues at two other Seward Co-op stores in the area and voted to join UFCW Local 653 in June. Earlier in June, the workers at the three stores, including the Creamery Café, the Seward Franklin store on Franklin Ave., and the Seward Friendship store at 38th St. and Clinton Ave., held a rally for a voice in the workplace after submitting cards authorizing representation by UFCW Local 653 to the National Labor Relations Board.
“Workers have come together to say yes to UFCW 653, yes to fair wages, yes to negotiating better benefits, and yes to respect and dignity in the workplace,” said Storey.
Tierra Griffith, a Certified Nursing Assistants at Delmar Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Delmar, Delaware, voted to join UFCW Local 27 in September along with 89 of her coworkers.
Griffith and her colleagues 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.
“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 Griffith.
Here’s a list of the organizing victories that appeared in OnPoint this year:
November 15, 2017
Rocky Mountain High cannabis workers in Durango, Montrose, and Carbondale, Colorado, voted to join UFCW Local 7 by an overwhelming margin on Nov. 6. These locations include two of the company’s grow facilities. The 25 workers wanted a voice in the workplace and the same benefits as their 32 colleagues at four Rocky Mountain High cannabis dispensaries in Denver, who joined UFCW Local 7 in September.
The Rocky Mountain High workers joined UFCW Local 7 because they were concerned about pay increases, health benefits, and a safer workplace. The workers also wanted to reduce high turnover and have a path to a career. Many of the workers also expressed an interest in the UFCW’s Free College Benefit.
November 6, 2017
Region 1 held its second NLRB Organizer Training Session for new and experienced organizers in Providence, Rhode Island, on Oct. 24 to 26. Region staff and organizers from UFCW Locals 328, 371, 888, 919, 1445 and 1459 participated in the training, which was hosted in the offices of UFCW Local 328.
The Region 1 organizers learned about the NLRB process, the rights protected by the NLRB, and how to combat anti-union company campaigns. Organizers also learned about messaging and how to create strong campaign literature. This is the second training for organizers held in Region 1 this year, the first of which was held on Long Island in January. These trainings are part of an ongoing effort to provide more professional development for local organizing staff.
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
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.”