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May 27, 2015

Workers in LA begin 24-Hour fast & will rally for an end to retaliation and call for $15 an hour and full-time hours

While Walmart continues to dodge questions about the recent sudden layoff of 2,200 workers ahead of upcoming shareholder meeting

DSC_6643LOS ANGELES – Ahead of the company’s June 5 shareholder meeting, Walmart workers in major cities across the country are holding rallies and marches this week, calling for CEO Doug McMillon and the Walton family to end the retaliation against workers who speak out for change, and to publicly commit to pay a living wage of $15 and provide access to full-time hours. Here in Los Angeles, two dozen Walmart workers will begin a 24-hour fast today to highlight the hunger many Walmart associates and their families endure due to the company’s low wages and insufficient hours.

Earlier this year, Walmart caved to worker pressure and announced it would raise wages for 500,000 U.S. associates. But despite the modest increase—and without any guarantee of adequate hours —many workers are still forced to rely on government assistance programs like food stamps to get by. Meanwhile, the company escalated its retaliatory actions against associates to a new level last month when it abruptly closed five stores and laid off more than 2,000 workers, citing “plumbing issues.” Walmart has failed to offer any conclusive evidence of a plumbing emergency that would require the immediate closing of five stores. Workers at the Walmart store in Pico Rivera, Calif., one of the stores closed for alleged plumbing issues, are calling on the company to commit publicly to reinstating all laid off workers when the store reopens for business and to allow all workers, for the time being, to be transferred to one of the nearby 45 Walmart stores.

Walmart workers are prepared to demand change and accountability from the world’s largest retailer at the company’s upcoming shareholder meeting. Worker shareholders will present two resolutions intended to reign in executive compensation and incentivize sustainable investment, such as fair wages and benefits for workers.

 

              WHAT:   Walmart workers rally against retaliation and for $15 and full-time

              WHEN:   Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.

              WHERE:   Cesar Chavez & Broadway Blvds in Chinatown, Los Angeles

              WHO:       Fasting Walmart workers, community leaders, members of the clergy, elected  officials

              RSVP/FOR MORE INFORMATION: Marc Goumbri, 202-257-8771,mgoumbri@ufcw.org

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Wal-Mart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Wal-Mart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Wal-Mart publicly commit to adhering to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of Walmart employees.

May 19, 2015

Walmart Worker-Shareholder Reacts to Q1 Earnings Report

Overview of Walmart’s first quarter sales report:

  • WMT reports 1st quarter results below expectations
  • EPS was $1.03 vs an expected $1.05; revenue was $114 billion vs an expected $116.2 billion
  • Same store sales of 1.1% at WMT US and just 0.4% at Sam’s Club were below the 1.5% gain expected for both segments
  • Promised investments in labor were disappointing, and amounted to less than analysts had expected for the quarter

OUR Walmart member and Walmart shareholder Teresa Adams of Pico Rivera, Calif., today, issued the following statement in response to Walmart’s Q1 earnings report:

“Walmart’s weak earnings report this morning is telling, but it’s nothing new for the countless number of associates nationwide who have been calling for a change to the company’s low-road, low-wage business model over the past few years. When workers who are committed to the company’s success can’t secure much-neeWM RUS_Fotorded pay and hours, they aren’t the only ones who suffer. Customers lose, and so do shareholders. Shelves aren’t properly stocked. Check-out lines are long. And the company’s reputation takes a hit when its employees don’t make enough money to stay off government assistance programs, At a time when Walmart needs to be investing more in its employees and stores, it closes four apparently profitable stores and lays off a reported 2,200 workers, while grasping at straws to justify the move. I think it’s no coincidence that OUR Walmart members were active in one of those stores.

“My fellow OUR Walmart members, like Shannon Henderson who made about $13,000 last year working as many hours as Walmart would let her, and I have been working to offer solutions to the problems that plague the company and its operations. CEO Doug McMillon has responded to one of our demands by raising wages for those of us at the bottom of the ladder, but it’s not enough. We all need higher wages and, even more importantly, we need more hours for ourselves and for our customers.

 “OUR Walmart Associate-shareholders are going to the upcoming Walmart annual shareholder meeting, where we have submitted two shareholder proposals. We are encouraging shareholders to use their votes to rein in executive compensation and incentivize sustainable investment, such as fair wages and more hours for workers.

 “It’s long past time for Walmart and the Waltons to take an honest and candid look at the concerns raised by investors, shareholders and customers. Treating associates with respect and providing adequate staffing and hours are fundamental to putting Walmart on the path to strong sales and success. And that’s the direction Walmart needs to go.”

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Wal-Mart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Wal-Mart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Wal-Mart publically commit to adhering to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of Walmart employees.

 

May 14, 2015

CEO Pay Continues to Rise; Walmart Workers Prepare to Call for Change at Shareholders Meeting

CEOs paid 373 times average worker pay, according to 2015 Executive PayWatch

ceopayWASHINGTON, DC—As Americans rally behind initiatives to raise pay for working families, CEO pay for major U.S. companies has skyrocketed. According to new AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch data, CEO pay increased nearly 16 percent in 2014, while Walmart and the Walton family continue to drive inequality nationwide.

The Executive PayWatch website, the most comprehensive searchable online database that tracks CEO pay, showed that in 2014, the average production and nonsupervisory worker made approximately $36,000 per year, while S&P 500 company CEO pay averaged $13.5 million per year – a ratio which has grown to 373-to-1. Meanwhile, a full-time worker making the federal minimum wage is paid just $15,080 a year, well below the poverty level for a family.

 Mega-retailer Walmart, highlighted in this year’s PayWatch, represents one of the most egregious examples of CEO-to-worker pay inequality. CEO Douglas McMillon is paid $9,323 an hour. A new Walmart employee making $9 an hour would have to work 1036 hours to earn what McMillon makes just 60 minutes. PayWatch also notes that six Walton family members have more wealth than 43 percent of America’s families combined.

“I made about $13,000 last year, working as many hours as the company would let me,” said Shannon Henderson, a Walmart employee and mother of two in Sacramento, California. “I work for the richest company in the world, and I can’t support my family without public assistance. That’s not right, and that’s why I’m not going to stop fighting for $15 and full time.”

Earlier this year, Walmart caved to worker pressure and announced it would raise wages for 500,000 U.S. associates. But despite the modest increase—and without any guarantee of adequate hours —many workers are still forced to rely on government assistance programs like food stamps to get by. Meanwhile, the company escalated its retaliatory actions against associates to a new level last month, when it abruptly closed five stores and laid off more than 2,000 workers, citing “plumbing issues.” Among the stores Walmart closed is the Pico Rivera, California Supercenter, the first store to go on strike in 2012, as well as the site of the first sit-down strike prior to last Black Friday. Walmart has failed to offer any evidence of a plumbing emergency that would require the immediate closing of five stores.

In light of the data released by Executive PayWatch, Walmart workers are prepared to demand change and accountability from the world’s largest retailer. As Walmart’s annual shareholders meeting approaches, workers have announced their intention to propose a shareholder resolution that would rein in executive compensation and incentivize sustainable investment, such as fair wages and benefits for workers.

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Wal-Mart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Wal-Mart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Wal-Mart publicly commit to adhering to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of Walmart employees.

May 13, 2015

OK Foods Fires Maintenance Workers Illegally

UFCW Alleges Company Fired Workers for Union Activity in Unfair Labor Practice Charges

OKfoodsnewsletter-300x160Heavener, OK: United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1000 is formally filing Unfair Labor Practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that two UFCW organizing committee members were illegally fired last week by OK Foods in Heavener, OK.

Local 1000 President Ricky Burris said, “Joshua Deases and Jason Muller were fired illegally last week. These two have been leaders in the organizing campaign at OK Foods to help maintenance workers get a voice at work. Both of them testified on behalf of the union in front of an NLRB Hearing Officer last year and served as official observers in the May 1st, 2014 election. The NLRB set the May 1st election aside because of repeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act and now OK Foods is again violating the Act by firing these workers. I strongly condemn these terminations.”

Maintenance worker Jason Muller said, “I’m not discouraged. The more they harass pro-union workers, the harder we will fight. OK Foods won’t intimidate us. OK Foods is persecuting Josh Deases and myself because of our union activities. This company, and specifically the CEO Trent Goins, should be ashamed.”

UFCW Local 1000 represents 11,000 workers across Oklahoma and North Texas including people who work at grocery stores and food production facilities. UFCW Local 1000 is an affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents 250,000 poultry production workers across the United States and Canada.

 

 

May 13, 2015

UFCW President Perrone: Hard-Working Americans Have Sent a Message Loud and Clear—No TPP

no_tpp1

WASHINGTON, D.C.Marc Perrone, International President of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement after the Senate failed to advance fast track legislation.

“All across this country, hard-working Americans from every political stripe have sent a message loud and clear—no more trade deals that destroy American jobs and families. The failure of the Senate to advance fast track legislation is not only a stinging defeat for supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); it makes clear that the American people will not be fooled into supporting another bad trade deal.

“Just a few weeks ago, all of the pundits believed that fast track and the TPP were a lock to pass: they were wrong. Our 1.3 million members, the entire labor movement, progressive Democrats, and conservative Republicans have all stood up and spoke out against this disastrous trade deal. More importantly, this is what is possible when we all stand together and fight for what is right for our families, our jobs, and our nation. While this battle is far from over, we can only hope that President Obama and every TPP supporter hears the voices of the American people and understands that this is a fight they cannot and should not win.”

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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

May 12, 2015

UFCW President Perrone: Hard-Working Americans Have Sent a Message Loud and Clear—No TPP

Says Failure to Advance Fast Track a Stinging Defeat for TPP Proponents

stop_tppWASHINGTON, D.C.Marc Perrone, International President of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement after the Senate failed to advance fast track legislation.

“All across this country, hard-working Americans from every political stripe have sent a message loud and clear—no more trade deals that destroy American jobs and families. The failure of the Senate to advance fast track legislation is not only a stinging defeat for supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); it makes clear that the American people will not be fooled into supporting another bad trade deal.

“Just a few weeks ago, all of the pundits believed that fast track and the TPP were a lock to pass: they were wrong. Our 1.3 million members, the entire labor movement, progressive Democrats, and conservative Republicans have all stood up and spoke out against this disastrous trade deal. More importantly, this is what is possible when we all stand together and fight for what is right for our families, our jobs, and our nation. While this battle is far from over, we can only hope that President Obama and every TPP supporter hears the voices of the American people and understands that this is a fight they cannot and should not win.”

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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

May 12, 2015

New Charge Against Hanover-Lebanon Cooperative Society Alleges Unlawful Anti-Worker Conduct

Co-op Charged with Intimidating and Interfering with its Workers’ Rights

nlrb-638x430Last week, the UFCW filed a federal charge with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that management at the Hanover-Lebanon Cooperative Society in New Hampshire unlawfully stifled workers’ rights to organize – including preventing them from talking about unions inside the store and intimidating workers who were discussing organizing a union. The Hanover-Lebanon Cooperative Society employs over 400 workers out of five retail locations and a commissary kitchen and does business locally as The Co-op Food Stores.

“Unions and co-ops are like peas and pods – they stem from the same core, they share the same values,” said co-op Member Len Ziefert. “It is antithetical for co-ops to oppose unionization, unions are employees working cooperatively.”

The member-owned co-op has been in the spotlight over the last year following the termination of two well-regarded employees. The fired workers sued co-op management, claiming they were fired as retaliation for speaking out about workplace conditions and for talking with union representatives. After the fallout from this lawsuit, members elected three new directors to the board who are focused on making the co-op more worker-friendly. While the wrongful termination case is currently still being litigated, this unrelated NLRB charge raises the question if anything has changed at The Co-op Food Stores or if co-op management continues to engage in anti-worker practices.

“By standing together in union, workers preserve their voice and true co-op principles,” said Reid Kotlas, a regular shopper. “The Co-op Food Stores should live up to the values of its member-owners and of the co-op movement and respect its workers’ rights to organize a union.”

May 8, 2015

UFCW Local 555 President Dan Clay: This trade deal may help Nike, but it won’t help workers in Oregon

TPP-6Portland, OR—Today, Dan Clay, President of UFCW Local 555, the largest private sector union in Oregon, released the following statement concerning President Obama pushing for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal in a speech at Nike headquarters in Beaverton.

“It is very disappointing to see President Obama push a trade deal that will hurt hard-working Oregonian families. To do so by visiting Nike, a company with a long history of sending jobs overseas and exploiting workers is a complete insult. Support from companies like Nike and Wal-Mart shows how terribly flawed this trade deal really is.

At a time when we need good jobs and growing income, we are being told to believe in another flawed trade deal, and ignore the self-centered agendas of politicians and irresponsible corporations.

Given the current economic struggles so many men and women in Oregon face, I can’t imagine a worse thing for President Obama to be prioritizing than a fast track trade deal that will widen the gap between the rich and the poor.

We will lose more jobs. We will see more of our businesses close. And, worst of all, working and middle class families in Oregon, whether they are union members or not, will pay the price.

Enough is enough. People in Oregon deserve better than this, and we must all work together to put our hard-working families first.

Every member of the Oregon Congressional delegation should show their commitment to good jobs in Oregon by opposing this bad deal for workers.”

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Join the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555 online at www.ufcw555.com

We are over 20,000 workers standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family in Oregon and Southwest Washington deserves.

 https://www.facebook.com/UFCWLocal555    @UFCW555

May 1, 2015

UFCW President Perrone: With all due respect to President Obama, TPP will hurt hard-working families

DSC_0026

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Marc Perrone, International President of the largest private sector union in the nation, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), sent letters to all 535 members of the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate urging them to listen to hard-working families and oppose fast tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Perrone also directly responds to the assertion made by President Obama, and others, that critics of TPP and Fast Track do not understand the agreement.

“With all due respect to President Obama and the elected politicians who support this trade deal, this agreement will hurt hard-working families, workers, and our shared future,” said Perrone in the letter to Congress.

He further adds, “In actuality, we understand the harsh reality that workers and families will again pay the price.“

The letter details why fast tracking the TPP would make life more difficult for hard-working American families.

The following are excerpts from the letter:

“For over three decades, fast track trade deals have brought broken promises–not prosperity –to hard-working families. During the recent era of free trade agreements families have endured lost jobs, stagnant wages and rising levels of income inequality.

“In the face of these truths, we are told by those who support this bad trade deal that we are misunderstanding the positives. In actuality, we understand the harsh reality that workers and families will again pay the price.”

“For Members of Congress to accept a trade deal that will govern 40% of the world’s GDP with no opportunity to make changes that would ensure the interests of hard-working families isn’t just wrong–it’s dangerous.”

“Given the impact these agreements will have on our nation, we need more debate on trade, not less.”

“At a time when our elected leaders should be focusing on raising wages, creating more opportunity, and addressing income inequality, ‘fast track’ trade promotion authority accomplishes the opposite. With that in mind, we strongly urge you to vote no.”

The full letter to members of the House and Senate is pasted below.

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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

Dear Members of Congress:

On behalf of the 1.3 million hard-working men and women of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), I urge you to oppose “fast track” trade promotion authority. With all due respect to President Obama and the elected politicians who support this trade deal, this agreement will hurt hard-working families, workers, and our shared future.

For over three decades, fast track trade deals have brought broken promises–not prosperity–to hard-working families. During the recent era of free trade agreements families have endured lost jobs, stagnant wages and rising levels of income inequality. In the face of these truths, we are told by those who support this bad trade deal that we are misunderstanding the positives. In actuality, we understand the harsh reality that workers and families will again pay the price.

Fast track has been used to push through some of our nation’s most destructive trade agreements and the TPP may be the worst yet. It would roll back regulations that could be construed as a “barrier to trade,” which includes environmental, consumer, and labor protections. And it has been put together in secret, with the advice and counsel of hundreds of corporate special interests but absolutely no input from labor or other groups that fight on behalf of the working and middle classes.

For Members of Congress to accept a trade deal that will govern 40% of the world’s GDP with no opportunity to make changes that would ensure the interests of hard-working families isn’t just wrong – it’s dangerous. Given the impact these agreements will have on our nation, we need more debate on trade, not less.

At a time when our elected leaders should be focusing on raising wages, creating more opportunity, and addressing income inequality, “fast track” trade promotion authority accomplishes the opposite.

With that in mind, we strongly urge you to vote no.

Sincerely,

Anthony M. Perrone
International President

April 28, 2015

We Must Make Workers Memorial Day a Catalyst for Great Change

Worker Memorial Day Share Graphic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement about Workers Memorial Day:

This Workers Memorial Day, we remember the hard-working men and women who have sacrificed their bodies, and in some cases their lives, to make a living for themselves and their families.

While most Americans may never have heard of this day, the workplace tragedies that inspired it are real and continue to this day. As recently as 2013, 4,400 workers were killed on the job. If we are to end these workplace tragedies, we must work together – unions, corporations, government, and the public – to build a united front that is focused on stopping them.

The best way for Americans to protect themselves is to empower them with laws that protect their right to speak out when they see something unsafe on the job. We must be unafraid to raise the alarm when conditions at their worksite become dangerous.

We must make Workers Memorial Day a catalyst for great change. It is a day to come together and push to pass safe workplace laws that help workers, not protect the irresponsible. Let’s make it easier for workers to be protected in their workplace and bargain for safer standards. Let’s create an environment where corporations view workplace safety as a priority.

Let’s use Workers Memorial Day to inspire us to save the lives that should never be lost.

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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