News and Updates
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.”
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.
October 2, 2017
On Sept. 21, deli workers at Albertsons store #169 in Boise, Idaho, voted to join UFCW Local 368A by an overwhelming margin. The grocery and meat departments in the Albertsons store were already organized by UFCW Local 368A, and union members who work in the store and in neighboring stores in the Treasure Valley played a crucial role by standing in solidarity with the deli workers.
“We are really happy we can now sit down and negotiate with Albertsons over several issues we really care about,” said Andrew Cade, who has worked at the store’s deli since September of 2016. “For some time now, we have seen our coworkers in the same store enjoy the benefits of a union contract, such as affordable healthcare, and now we have a real opportunity to bargain for some of those same things.”
Joshua Barton, a frozen supervisor who served as the union’s observer during the election, noted union members’ encouragement was crucial in helping his coworkers stand for what they deserve.
“We have been talking to them during breaks and after shifts about the fact that they, too, have a right to organize and bargain for what they need, just the way we already do,” Barton said.
September 25, 2017
Safeway pharmacy technicians in both states were concerned about wage increases, and wanted better health care benefits. The workers in Wyoming were also concerned about being accredited for prior experience. Workers in both states wanted to join the rest of their coworkers for a voice on the job, and with this election, both stores are now wall to wall union.
September 5, 2017
Recently, 28 workers at SBM Management Services in Elkton, Va., voted to join ICWUC/UFCW Local 94C by an overwhelming margin. SBM Management Services is a subcontractor at the Merck plant in the area, and the workers clean many parts of the facility, as well as the laboratory glassware.
The SBM Management Services workers wanted a voice in the workplace, as well as an end to “at will” employment. They also wanted the benefits and protections that ICWUC/UFCW Local 94C can offer. ICWUC/UFCW Local 94C Vice President Matt Dean and President Ricky Breeden were instrumental in this victory for these workers, with the support of Council Vice President Gerry Setley.