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February 3, 2016

From Campaign Trail, Secretary Clinton Calls Into UFCW Event and Thanks Members


Clinton: “The issues your members fight for are my fights.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Secretary Hillary Clinton called into the 2016 meeting of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) International Executive Board and Advisory Council to thank its members for their efforts in Iowa and to highlight her commitment to hard-working families across the nation.

The UFCW, the largest private sector union in the nation with 1.3 million members, announced its endorsement of Clinton for President of the United States last month and was proud to be a key part of her victory in Iowa.

During her remarks, Secretary Clinton pointed to how UFCW members and their families were vital to her close victory in Iowa, and that she was determined to fight for the issues that matter to tens of millions of working and middle class people.

Specifically, Clinton emphasized her commitment to raising wages, guaranteeing equal pay, providing paid leave, and protecting the rights of hard-working families to negotiate better lives.

The following are excerpts from Clinton’s remarks to the UFCW Executive board and Advisory Council:

On Iowa:

“It’s just meant the world to me to have your support…And I want you to know that you made a difference for me in Iowa. This was a very tight race and your members were critical votes in several precincts across the state. That helped us end up on top. And I appreciated your work on the ground, knocking on doors, talking to voters, making phone calls. And here’s something I want you to know — exit polling shows that in Iowa, union household voters made up 21% of all caucus goers. So more than one fifth of everybody who turned out on Monday night was part of a union household and I was supported by a 9 point advantage among union household voters. You made that possible.”

On issues that matter to working families:

“The issues you and your members are fighting for are my fights too…I will be your partner in the fight to raise wages, provide opportunity for paid sick time, fair scheduling for workers. I will stand up and fight for the right to organize and bargain collectively, for good wages and good working conditions and benefits. And I have a plan to make college affordable, to fight for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship.”

Clinton also took time to answer a question from the audience about what she will do to help workers balance work and family. She said:

“I’ve said before that we’ve got to do more to help families balance work and their families. That’s why I support twelve weeks of paid family leave, seven day of paid sick time…I am making the strength of our family, opportunities for our families, specifically those that working women have, the centerpiece of my campaign. And you’ll hear a lot about this in the months ahead.”

Clinton also took a question about whether she believes collective bargaining is a means to ending wage inequality. She said:

“I believe it. I think the evidence supports it. There’s no doubt in my mind that the labor movement and particularly collective bargaining led to the growth of the American middle class…Republicans and their special interest groups have tried to undermine organizing, undermine collective bargaining. There’s no doubt in my mind they try to diminish our standard of living and growth of the American middle class.”

Photos of UFCW members caucusing for Clinton in Iowa are attached.

iowa1 crowd2 Tish group crowd3 crowd 1 bill

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Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org.

 

We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family earns and deserves.

 www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational    @UFCW

February 3, 2016

UFCW Names Esther López New International Secretary-Treasurer

UFCW President Perrone Highlights Historic Announcement as Part of UFCW’s Commitment to Building a Diverse and Strong Union Family

Ester2016-778x1024PHOENIX, AZ — Today, the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Executive Board elected Esther López as the new International Secretary-Treasurer. The historic announcement reflects the commitment by the UFCW, as the largest private sector union with 1.3 million members, to building a diverse and strong union family.

Esther López is a leading champion of hard-working men and women, and has worked tirelessly for decades on behalf of immigrants and all families seeking a better life. López has helped lead the UFCW’s groundbreaking outreach effort to the Latino and immigrant communities, and is recognized as a national leader in the areas of immigration reform, as well as civil, human, and labor rights.

“To become a better and stronger union family, I have been absolutely committed to building a diverse and inclusive union. It is why I’m so proud to announce that the UFCW International Executive Board elected Esther López as our union family’s new International Secretary-Treasurer. Esther is a tireless advocate for the rights of all hard-working men and women. Esther believes, as I do, that our nation’s diversity is our strength, that we must grow our union family, and that by working together we will provide a better life to all our incredible members,” said Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union.

In accepting her position, López said:

“I am truly honored to be elected as the International Secretary-Treasurer. This union and our members are my family. Doing everything I can to improve the lives of hard-working families, and provide them with the better life they’ve earned, has been my life’s mission. It is why the UFCW’s commitment to building a stronger and more diverse union family is so important. It inspires me to never stop fighting to better the lives of our members, and those who deserve to be our members. Under Marc’s leadership, and as part of this incredible UFCW team, I’m more optimistic than ever about the future of our great union family.”

Throughout her career, López has been a champion of the rights of all workers – regardless of where they come from or where they were born. To help provide hope to immigrant workers, López launched a groundbreaking program to ensure eligible UFCW members were first in line to apply for citizenship. Prior to that, she spearheaded the Union Citizenship Action Network, also known as UCAN, to help UFCW members become naturalized and get on the path to citizenship. López was the lead staff person on the UFCW Commission on ICE Enforcement that highlighted civil rights abuses in the 2006 Swift raids. All along, López has never lost focus on the broader goal of giving aspiring Americans the chance to become citizens and ensuring all workers and their families are protected from exploitation.

López began with the UFCW in November 2006 when she was hired as Director of the Civil Rights and Community Action Department.  In that role, she has helped put the UFCW on the front lines of the most crucial civil rights battles of our time—fighting back against voter suppression, working to end exploitation of refugees from countries like Burma, Sudan and Somalia, creating more opportunities for women, and expanding LGBT equality.

Prior to her career at the UFCW, López played an active role in improving labor conditions within the state of Illinois, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for Labor, as well as in the governor’s cabinet as Director of the Illinois Department of Labor.

 

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We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family deserves.

www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational     @UFCW

January 28, 2016

El Super Grocery Workers and their Supporters Protest Recently Opened El Super Store in Pico Rivera

MEDIA 6– El Super operates 54 grocery stores in California, Arizona and Nevada, and is a subsidiary of Mexico retail giant Grupo Comercial Chedraui

Community members and El Super workers rallied outside the chain’s newly opened El Super store in Pico Rivera yesterday. El Super has been under consumer boycott since December 2014, and its unionized workers have struck the company twice in protest of unfair labor practices. Jobs at El Super are beneath grocery industry standards and the federal government has issued multiple complaints, and a temporary injunction, against the company for violating the rights of workers who speak out in favor of higher standards.

On January 22, a new El Super opened at 9320 Slauson Ave, Pico Rivera. This space was a Ralph’s store, before it closed last October.

This will be a non Union store where workers have fewer protections and no voice at work. Pico Rivera needs good, union jobs that uplift workers, their families and our community. We need grocery stores that preserve the quality job standards established at neighboring stores,” said Andrea Zinder, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) 324 Secretary Treasurer.

Ralph’s workers at this store had a good union contract that included guaranteed hours, family sustaining wages, adequate paid sick leave, and affordable family health care. The jobs at the Pico Rivera El Super are inferior in every way.

In 2014, Chedraui posted over $100 million (US) in profits, and El Super contributed more than a fifth of the company’s net revenues. Despite its success, unionized El Super workers at seven (7) California stores have been working without a fair union contract for over two years.

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January 12, 2016

UFCW Endorses Hillary Clinton For President

clintonUFCW HIGHLIGHTS LENGTHY MEMBER DRIVEN ENDORSEMENT PROCESS IN ORDER TO SELECT STRONGEST 2016 CANDIDATE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Since last year, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, has actively engaged and reached out to its 1.3 million diverse members about the issues they care about, and the positions they believe the next President of the United States should embody. Based on the collective opinion of our members, the UFCW is announcing today its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

Today’s announcement reflects a yearlong commitment made by the UFCW to pursue a thorough presidential endorsement process. As part of this effort, the UFCW conducted a series of nationwide meetings with current members and Local UFCW officers, internal polls of our union members, as well as focus groups with working and middle class non-union families from across the country who currently work or have worked in retail, to determine the issues that matter most to UFCW members and the workers the UFCW fights for every day.

Based on these results, as well as additional discussions with UFCW Local Presidents and the UFCW Executive Board, the collective decision was that Hillary Clinton is indeed the best qualified and positioned candidate to win in 2016 and fight for the issues – such as job security, fair scheduling, paid leave, raising wages, immigration and health care reform – that matter most to our diverse union family.

Marc Perrone, International President of the UFCW, released the following statement about the endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

“For our union family, the 2016 Presidential election is about electing someone who will fight every single day for the issues that matter most to our 1.3 million hard-working members and their families. And, as one of the most diverse unions in the nation, we believe it is critical to select a candidate who is not just ready to be President, but who best understands that the strength of this nation is our unity and diversity.

“It is our members’ strong belief that Hillary Clinton is not just the strongest presidential candidate, but the right one. By working together, we believe our incredible members can help Secretary Clinton create the better America that our union family and all middle- and working-class families have earned and deserve.

“We announce this endorsement with the full belief that the frustrations felt by the American people are real, and that they deserve an America where better wages and better benefits are enjoyed by all who help make this nation great.

“For us, these incredible retail and non-retail workers, who help feed and serve this nation, deserve a president like Hillary Clinton who will fight to make sure that paid leave, stable schedules, and higher wages become more than an election promise – they’ll become a reality.

“We would like to thank our members for their input, and are proud to have taken the time to make a thoughtful decision about this presidential endorsement. These decisions are always difficult, especially when we have good and committed candidates who have dedicated their lives to fighting for America’s families.

“To Sen. Sanders and Gov. O’Malley, we would like to thank them and acknowledge their passion and commitment to the better America we all believe in. Their voices have made a difference in this race, and we hope they will continue to speak out for the issues that Secretary Clinton and all our families care about.

“Looking ahead to the fall, we are dedicated to mobilizing all our 1.3 million members across every state to help make Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States.”

December 17, 2015

Dolores Huerta Joins Grocery Workers’ Unfair Labor Practices Strike at El Super

  • Workers at the Latino grocery chain strike in response to current violations of their rights under U.S. labor law.
  • Grocery employees are joined by human rights legend Dolores Huerta at an El Super Store in Los Angeles.
  • Today’s action comes one day after 19 members of Congress called on the Obama administration to uphold international labor standards at El Super.

DOLORES H STRIKE Los Angeles, December 16—With signs held high and chants ringing across store parking lots, El Super workers at seven locations in Southern California went on strike over recent unfair labor practices (ULPs). The strikers, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), are protesting violations of their rights and U.S. labor law requiring the company to bargain in good faith. They were joined by labor and human rights legend Dolores Huerta at a rally in front of the grocer’s location on E. Gage Ave. in Los Angeles.

“The fight El Super workers are engaged in is the same fight that the farm workers have historically fought for: the right to belong to a union, the right to bargain in good faith, and the right to industry labor standards, which means wages that can sustain their families. I stand with El Super workers and their campaign to win respect in the workplace and dignity for their families,” said Huerta, longtime champion for labor rights and co-founder of the United Farm Workers union.

Yesterday’s strike, was launched to protest recent ULPs at the chain.  El Super’s conduct is the subject of charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board within the past week, including surface bargaining, repudiation of terms El Super unilaterally implemented nearly a year and half ago as part of it’s “last, best, and final” contract offer, and unreasonable delay in providing information crucial to effective negotiations.

El Super union members have been working without a contract since September 2013. In the face of court action and an NLRB trial, the company returned to union negotiations in August of this year, after over a year and half absence. They came back, however, to engage in bad faith bargaining in violation of federal law.

Flora Castaneda, an El Super cashier on strike to get the company to meet its legal obligations, said, “Reaching a union contract with the company is much more than a legal document to me, my family and my coworkers.  It is my hope that if the company bargains in good faith we can sign an agreement that would ultimately allow me a holiday season where I’m able to make dinner for my family and buy some little presents for my kids. I think if the Company bargains in good faith we can reach an agreement that will enable us to able to go to the doctor when we are sick, save for our children to go to college, and have enough money at the end of the month to afford food and rent.  It means we will have protection from the company’s retaliation against union supporters.”

“El Super’s disregard of workers’ rights and of labor law is shameful,” said UFCW Local 770 President Ricardo Icaza. “We will continue to stand together against this company’s lawless stonewalling of the bargaining process, and be with the workers until El Super comes to the table to negotiate in good faith for a contract where workers have the wages, benefits, guaranteed hours and respect that they have earned.”

In addition to the recent charges filed with the NLRB that prompted this strike, the NLRB recently issued a complaint against the company for additional unfair labor practices.

The UFCW and allies have also filed simultaneous complaints under the NAFTA labor agreement and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines to stop El Super and its parent company Grupo Chedraui’s attack on workers’ rights in the United States and Mexico. On Monday, 19 members of Congress representing districts with El Super store locations called on the Obama administration to expedite investigations into the complaints’ allegations.

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Sign Letter to El Super CEO: www.BoycottElSuper.org

Like: http://facebook.com/justiceforelsuperworkers

December 10, 2015

UFCW Local 400 Applauds Introduction of “Just Hours” Legislation in D.C.

Just-Hours-L400Last week, Mark Federici, President of UFCW Local 400, which has more than 3,000 members living in Washington, D.C., released the following statement in response to the introduction of the “Hours and Scheduling Stability Act.”

“If you ask anyone who works at a retail store in D.C. how to improve their job, the response is likely to include scheduling. Stable hours and predictable scheduling make it easier for people to plan their future and spend time with their families. Unfortunately, in the interest of maximizing their bottom lines, numerous retail stores in D.C. rely on erratic and last minute scheduling that forces people to work harder and longer and be unaware of their shift until the last moment.

“The Hours and Scheduling Stability Act would begin to curb these abusive scheduling practices by giving retail workers advance notice of their schedules, stopping on-call practices, and promoting full-time work opportunities by offering available hours to current employees before new ones are hired.

“The bottom line is that uncertain work schedules are too common in this city and they’re making it increasingly difficult for people who work at retail stores throughout D.C. to make ends meet.

“The legislation introduced today would go a long way towards ensuring retail workers in D.C. are given the consistent hours and schedules they need to create better lives for themselves and their families.

“We urge the D.C. Council to pass the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act as soon as possible.”

Summary of Bill’s Key Provisions:

 Scheduling with advance notice so that people aren’t living day-to-day:

  • Employers must post schedules 21 days in advance.
  • If an employer initiates a schedule change thereafter, the employee will receive one hour of pay as compensation for the change.
  • If the change occurs within 24 hours of a shift, the employee is awarded four hours of pay.

 Promoting full-time work opportunities so that people have enough hours to make ends meet:

  • Employers will offer available hours to qualified current employees before hiring new employees.

 Stopping abusive “on-call” practices so families can plan their lives:

  • If an employer cancels an employee’s shift or declines to call in an “on-call” employee with less than 24 hours’ notice, the employee will receive four hours of pay.
  • The law already guarantees employees a minimum daily pay of four hours when they report to work – this provision would simply close the “on-call” shift loophole.

 Ensuring equal treatment for hourly employees:

  • An employer may not discriminate against employees of the same job qualification with regard to rate of pay, leave and promotion opportunities regardless of hours worked.

 Who does this legislation apply to?

  • Chain retail employers with at least five establishments nationwide; and chain fast-food and full-service restaurants with at least 20 establishments nationwide.

For more information, please visit the DC Just Hours website.

November 16, 2015

Hard-Working IKEA Retail Workers Strike for Union Recognition

Workers Shut Down Normal Operations of Boston-Area Store

via UNI Global Union

via UNI Global Union

BOSTON – Early this morning, workers at a Boston-area IKEA store went on strike, shutting down normal store operations in an effort to improve the lives of hard-working IKEA workers and their families.

The striking workers are the first unionized retail workers at an American IKEA store, and are taking this action in response to IKEA USA’s refusal to recognize their union and enter into contract negotiations.

“Instead of doing what is right, IKEA has chosen to fight its own hard-working employees. That is wrong. All we want is the chance to earn a better life,” said eight-year IKEA coworker Chris DeAngelo. “We are dedicated to our jobs, and wish IKEA would honor its own policy and respect our union rights.”

Today’s action follows the decision of workers in the Goods Flow In department at IKEA Stoughton to join the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the nation’s largest private sector union with 1.3 million members.

The workers requested that IKEA USA recognize their union after following a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) process that allows companies to voluntarily recognize a union when workers demonstrate majority support. Seventy-five per cent of workers in the bargaining unit signed a petition affirming their desire to join the union.

The action today highlights a failure to follow IKEA Group policies, which explicitly state support for the right of workers to bargain collectively and to join a union of their choice in the company’s internal code of conduct.

The Stoughton IKEA store has been the subject of a recent NLRB complaint filed in Boston, alleging that the company violated federal law by unlawfully infringing on the right of workers to engage in protected union activity. The company has since settled the complaint with the NLRB.

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Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org

We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family deserves.

 www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational    @UFCW

 

November 5, 2015

UFCW President Perrone Statement on Release of TPP Text

TPP-Trump-ClintonWashington, D.C. — Today, Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, released the following statement in response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal text becoming public.

“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton don’t agree on much, but both believe that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a terrible trade deal for America.

“In a nation so divided politically, a trade deal must be truly devastating to hard-working families when leading Presidential candidates from both parties find common ground in opposing it.

“Of course, the American people should not take anyone’s word for it. Finally, everyone will now have the opportunity, after months of backroom deals and secret negotiations, to read for themselves the truth about how this trade deal will destroy jobs and lead to lower wages in America.

“Our message to Members of Congress is a simple one – listen to the concerns of UFCW members, everyday Americans and even the leading voices in the current Presidential race – and defeat the TPP once and for all.

“We may not be able to change every mind, but we will remember and hold accountable those elected leaders, Democrat or Republican, who choose to stand with corporate special interests, instead of doing what is right for hard-working men and women and their families.”

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Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org

We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family deserves.

 www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational    @UFCW

October 9, 2015

UFCW Launches #AnswerMyQuestion2016 Grassroots Campaign Calling on Presidential Candidates to Answer Questions that Matter to the American People

UFCWnewsFor Immediate Release October 9, 2015
Contact: press@ufcw.org

 #AnswerMyQuestion Initiative Will Pose Questions to all 2016 Candidates, beginning with Upcoming Democratic Debate, and Aims to Hold Them Accountable to Hardworking Men and Women

Washington, D.C. — Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, launched an online grassroots social media campaign asking UFCW members and other hardworking men and women to submit their questions and concerns to 2016 presidential candidates.

The goal of the #AnswerMyQuestions2016 campaign is to pressure 2016 presidential candidates, Democrat and Republican, to answer the tough questions that truly matter to our members and all hard-working families – whether they are union members or not.

The first phase of the #answermyquestion2016 initiative will focus on Democratic candidates participating in their first debate in Las Vegas, which will air October 13th at 8:30pm EST on CNN.

Using the hashtags #AnswerMyQuestion2016 and #DemDebate, UFCW members, supporters, and everyday Americans will be encouraged to submit any questions they have for Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee. Questions asked through tweets, photos, videos, and all other forms of social media creativity will be accepted – if it is hash tagged, we will find it.

As part of an effort to focus the debate on the issues that matter to hard-working families, questions will also be submitted to CNN and posted on UFCW’s Tumblr page (ufcw.tumblr.com).

The goal of this effort is to ensure that candidates are answering real questions from real people and are held accountable for how they will better the lives of everyday Americans if they become President of the United States.

 

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Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org.

We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family earns and deserves.

 www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational    @UFCW

September 16, 2015

UFCW LOCALS IN MISSOURI APPLAUD DEFEAT OF RIGHT TO WORK

image (3)

People packed into the Missouri legislature

Jefferson City, Missouri – Dave Cook, President of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 655, Steven Straher, President of UFCW Local 88, and Tom Price, President of UFCW Local 2, representing 20,000 workers across Missouri, released the following statement today in response to Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of right to work legislation being sustained by the legislature.

 
“Today is a victory for hard-working men and women and their families all across Missouri.
 
“It should be noted that Republicans, Democrats, Independents, union and non-union families stood together to stop “right to work” legislation. We thank legislators from both sides of the aisle for voting to preserve the rights of middle class workers. 
 
“Our families spent the summer hosting phone banks and canvassing every corner of Missouri to build community support for this very moment.
 
“Governor Nixon’s veto of harmful and unfair “right to work” legislation was sustained because Missourians saw this bill for what it really was – an attack upon every worker in our state regardless of party.
 
“Although this battle is over, we will never stop fighting for hard-working Missouri families who hope for and deserve better lives.”
 
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We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family deserves.