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    News and Updates

    Organizing

June 25, 2018

Fort Bliss Barbers in Texas Stand Together for a Better Life

On May 24, approximately 37 barbers from the Fort Bliss Army Base in El Paso, Texas, voted unanimously to join UFCW Local 540. The barbers, most of whom are women, were concerned about seniority and scheduling issues and wanted a voice in the workplace. The new members of UFCW Local 540 are pleased to be a part of our union family and look forward to negotiating a strong, first contract.

June 4, 2018

Grocery Workers in Colorado Join Our Union Family

Approximately 350 King Soopers Marketplace workers in Arvada, Colorado, joined UFCW Local 7 on May 9. Employees at the newly opened store are excited to have a voice in the workplace, union insurance and a pension. As members of UFCW Local 7, they will also receive credit for prior experience within the company and in other retail stores, which will help them reach journeyman status.

May 29, 2018

Pilgrim’s Pride Workers in South Carolina Join Our Union Family

Pictured left to right: Chris Doubilet from Pilgrim’s Pride in Athens, Georgia, and Demetrius Stewart and Kawan Scarborough from Pilgrim’s Pride in Sumter, South Carolina.

Over 800 Pilgrim’s Pride workers in Sumter, South Carolina, voted to join UFCW Local 1996 on May 2 by an overwhelming margin. The workers, who process poultry, were concerned about treatment by management, insufficient wages and unsafe working conditions, including the denial of bathroom breaks. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation is a Brazilian-owned, multi-national food company and the largest chicken producer in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Member-to-member organizing made a significant difference in this campaign. UFCW members who work at Pilgrim’s Pride plants in Georgia and Florida met with the workers at the Sumter plant and helped them understand the benefits of standing together for dignity in the workplace.

“We are proud of the unity the employees at the Pilgrim’s Pride Sumter plant demonstrated during the organizing campaign and are honored to have them join our UFCW family,” said UFCW Local 1996 President Steve Lomax. “We now embark on a journey of continued improvement, through having a union contract, that will better the lives of the employees and working families in Sumter. We look forward to doing what the UFCW does best—improving the lives of working families.”

May 29, 2018

Local 919 Welcomes New Members to Our Union Family

On May 18, 41 warehouse distribution workers at Arett Sales in Bristol, Connecticut, voted to join UFCW Local 919.  Arett Sales Corporation is a distributor of lawn, garden, home and holiday supplies.

The workers were concerned about harsh treatment by management, unsafe working conditions, poor wages, and forced overtime, and wanted a voice in the workplace. Two years ago, these workers attempted to join UFCW Local 919, but were thwarted by an aggressive anti-union campaign.  This time, they were determined and unwilling to listen to the company’s anti-union rhetoric and tactics, and are looking forward to negotiating their first union contract.

May 21, 2018

Local 7 Adds More Members to Our Union Family

Grocery and convenience store workers in Colorado recently joined UFCW Local 7 for a voice in the workplace and a pathway to a better life.

On May 11, 13 King Soopers deli workers in Broomfield, Colorado, voted to join UFCW Local 7 by an overwhelming margin. King Soopers is a supermarket brand of Kroger. The workers organized for better wages and health insurance, as well as credit for prior retail experience. Despite the company’s delays and tactics since October 2017, including trying to block the election less than 40 hours before voting began, these workers held strong.

On April 22, 80 workers at six former Loaf ‘N Jug convenience stores in Denver, which are now under the King Soopers banner, joined UFCW Local 7. Kroger recently sold their convenience stores to the England-based EG Group, including the Loaf ‘N Jug brand. However, Kroger kept and rebranded the Denver area Loaf ‘N Jug stores to King Soopers convenience stores. By joining UFCW Local 7 as King Soopers workers, the workers gained pay increases, union health care and a union pension.

March 5, 2018

Berlin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Workers in Maryland Join Local 27

On Feb. 8, 80 workers from the Berlin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Berlin, Maryland, joined UFCW Local 27. The unit consists of certified nursing assistants, as well as dietary employees.

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

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.

January 29, 2018

Presbyterian Home for Central New York Workers Join Local One

Presbyterian Home for Central New York workers are proud to be a part of our growing UFCW health care family.

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

Consolidated Nuclear Security Workers in Tennessee Join ICWUC Local 252C

Radiation technicians at Consolidated Nuclear Security’s Y-12 plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, voted to join ICWUC Local 252C by an overwhelming margin on Dec. 13.

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

AOC Resins Workers in Indiana Join ICWUC

AOC Resins workers celebrate their new status as ICWUC members with ICWUC organizer Lance Heasley (right).

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.