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August 4, 2003

Democratic Presidential Campaign Train 2004: West Coast Whistle Stop

Food and Commercial Workers Union Convention

Thursday, July 31, 2003 – 2:30 P.M.

Moscone Center – San Francisco

Pre-Forum Press Briefing 12:30 p.m.-The Human Stories Behind The Numbers

In The Health Care Crisis-Workers On Strike For Affordable Health Care,

Workers with No Insurance, Workers Bargaining To Keep Coverage

(San Francisco)

THE ISSUE:

Over 3,000 working families a day lose health insurance coverage. Over 41 million Americans are uninsured. Health care costs are rising faster than inflation. At the nation’s largest private employer – Wal- Mart – more than 60 percent— or, about 600,000 workers – do not have company-sponsored health insurance. More corporations are dropping health benefits for employees and their families. More American workers are opting out of insurance as companies shift more of the cost to employees.

THE SPONSOR:

The 1.4 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) – America’s neighborhood union – represents grocery store clerks, food processors and health care workers – all growing sources of employment. The majority of UFCW members now have employer-paid health insurance – but, the health care cost crisis, along with competition from employers who do not provide insurance, threatens to destroy the employment-based health care system. Some of the largest strikes in the past 10 years—28,000 workers in New Jersey and 35,000 workers in Northern California – have been UFCW strikes over health care coverage. Demographically, the UFCW is a microcosm of voting, middle- income America with about 52 percent women, about 11 percent African-American and about 10 percent Latino.

THE EVENT:

The forum will take place on an open stage with a roving Bill Press, of MSNBC’s “”Buchanan and Press,”” posing questions from workers in the audience to the candidates seated in director’s chairs on stage. The backdrop will be a convention hall filled with 5,000 workers meeting to set an agenda for their union.

 

August 4, 2003

Details on Candidates Forum At UFCW Convention

Democratic Party presidential candidates will appear in a forum on health care issues at the Convention of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union:

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Noon-5 p.m.

Moscone Center (South) – San Francisco

The forum will take place on an open stage with a roving chairman, Bill Press, of MSNBC’s “”Buchanan and Press,”” posing questions from workers in the audience to the candidates seated in director’s chairs on stage. The backdrop will be a convention hall filled with 5,000 rank and file delegates.

Confirmed participants are Dean, Gephardt, Kucinich, Mosley-Braun. Kerry & Edwards (via satellite).

SCHEDULE:

12:00 p.m. Pre-Forum Press briefing (Room 202 in Moscone Center) on health care issues featuring “”Behind The Numbers in The Health Care Crisis”” Among those participating will be a Wal-Mart worker without insurance, workers currently on strike for affordable health care, and health care workers.

2:30-4 p.m. Forum in main meeting hall. Candidates will field questions submitted by delegates in advance.

4-5 p.m. Post-forum press availability at the discretion of the candidates in Room 202.

Please arrive no later than 2:00 p.m. to pick up credentials in Press Room on Mezzanine. TV cameras will NOT be permitted in the convention hall. A mult box will be available to pull video and audio feed from UFCW cameras.

THE SPONSOR:

The 1.4 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) represents grocery store clerks, food processors and health care workers. The majority of UFCW members now have employer-paid health insurance – but the health care cost crisis, along with competition from employers who do not provide insurance threatens to destroy the employment-based health care system.