News and Updates
May 6, 2019
On Wednesday, May 8, we will celebrate National Third Shift Workers Day to honor all of our members who work late and sacrifice sleep to provide for their families and serve their communities across the country.
Whether it’s working through the night to prepare fresh food for the morning, restocking store shelves, or taking care of our loved ones in the hospital, the hard-working men and women of the UFCW who work the third shift provide an incredible value that too often goes unnoticed or is taken for granted.
For many members, working the third shift allows them to make time to further their education and make scheduling easier for family or child care. One of those hard-working night owls focused on going to school is Kathy of UFCW Local 1428 in Southern California, who worked nights so she could get her master’s degree. Her coworker, Sharon, also reminds us that many dedicated employees build their careers working nights – she’s spent the past 35 years as a third shifter. The stability of third shift work allowed her to balance work and family responsibilities. Read more about their story here.
The UFCW is proud to negotiate premium pay for third shift workers to help provide them with the better life they’ve earned and deserve. If your local is hosting an event for National Third Shift Workers Day, please share that information, along with photos, with Julie Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 1, 2019
Across the country, many members who work hard every day to contribute to our communities and build a better life for themselves and their families still face obstacles to achieving the American Dream. To ensure these members and their families have the opportunities they need to succeed, United Latinos of the UFCW hosted a Union Citizenship Action Network (UCAN) Clinic in New York City on March 23 which focused on legal services, the process to become a citizen, and other immigration and citizenship issues.
With strong attendance from members and families throughout the community, the clinic was also sponsored by RWDSU, UFCW Locals 888 and 1500, Dominicanos USA and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement’s New York City Chapter. The event helped answer questions about the application process for permanent U.S. residents to become U.S. citizens. To help members with the application fees, United Latinos created the New American Citizenship Fund, which awards $600.00 scholarships to members who have applied for U.S. citizenship. To date, United Latinos has helped hundreds of UFCW members continue and complete the application process.
The UCAN Clinic marked the last event of a week-long United Latinos board meeting hosted at the RWDSU, which featured panels on organizing, immigration, and the state of Latinos in the workforce. UFCW International President Marc Perrone and International Secretary-Treasurer Esther López spoke at the event. United Latinos President Rigo Valdez, who is the Vice President and Director of Organizing at UFCW Local 770, challenged attendees at the board meeting to “take action and engage our membership, whether it be by helping our members become citizens, registering [members] to vote, or by providing organizing training in Spanish. We need to activate our community.”
The UCAN program, which was launched in 2014, assists members who are lawful permanent residents and meet the legal requirements with their application process to become U.S. citizens. Since its inception, the UCAN Program has helped thousands of our members and their families with their citizenship application process. For more information or to get involved with the UCAN program, contact International Vice President and Director of the Civil Rights and Community Action Department Robin Williams at email@example.com.
You can learn more about United Latinos of the UFCW and the important work they do here.
October 15, 2018
Esau Valencia has been a UFCW Local 1245 shop steward at Kings Supermarket for 20 years. Over that time, he’s become increasingly involved in efforts to get out the vote, and this year is no exception. He’s one of the many shining examples of hardworking UFCW members honoring Hispanic Heritage Month by getting involved in their communities.
Over the last few weeks, Esau has been helping fellow members get registered to vote at his store and has volunteered his time going door to door as well. He says that “Although Hispanics are generally more politically involved in other countries, we as a people are active in the U.S., but more can still be done. It takes all of us to make change – to receive the better wages and respect we’ve earned.”
Esau believes it’s his duty, and hopes others in his community do too, to take part in the GOTV effort because as someone who is bilingual, he has the ability to reach and communicate with many people. He thinks it’s especially important for young Latinos to know about and be engaged in these “critical moments,” and recently registered a young member who will be voting for the first time this November.
“Although Hispanics are generally more politically involved in other countries, we as a people are active in the U.S., but more can still be done. It takes all of us to make change – to receive the better wages and respect we’ve earned.”
For Esau, immigration and family separation are two of the most important issues that are affecting his community this year. Additionally, health care reform and keeping Obamacare intact are top priorities. Being a union member has enabled him to take action when it comes to fighting for what matters to hard-working people:
“It’s helped me a lot,” he said. “I’ve been employed at a place where there were no stewards, but now, in my UFCW workplace, I’m able to be more engaged—I’ve been to UFCW Conventions and shared my message. It’s important for us as minorities to get involved.”
June 11, 2018
With outside temperatures starting to soar, now is the time to make sure employers are taking the necessary steps to protect workers from heat stress and heat-related illness. With that in mind, we need your help to get the word out to stewards and members to make sure no member is put in harm’s way to due to hot weather conditions.
All workers should have access to:
• Adequate amounts of drinking water.
• Regular rest breaks or rest periods in a cool area.
• Regular bathroom breaks, as necessary.
• Adequate air circulation through the use of air conditioning, fans and general ventilation.
• Education on the early signs of heat-related illness.
• Time to acclimatize to the heat. It takes about one week for the body to adjust to
working in the heat.
Hot weather safety strategies should include:
• Training all management and hourly employees with an emphasis on how to
recognize a medical emergency (heat stroke).
• Having a clearly written protocol on how to respond to a medical emergency.
• Training all management and hourly employees on workers’ right to access
drinking water, as needed, and the right to access bathrooms, as needed.
• Monitoring particularly hot work areas and a plan in place for when the heat
index approaches the extreme caution zone.
You can download the following documents here (scroll down to the bottom the page):
• Hot Weather Advisory: Preventing Heat Illness or Heat Stress at Work
• Heat Illness Response Guidelines
• Sample Heat Emergency Procedures
For more information about heat and heat-related illness, contact the UFCW’s OSH Office at 202-223-3111.
June 11, 2018
Throughout the month of June, UFCW locals across the country are celebrating diversity and inclusive workplaces for LGBTQ members and all workers. This Pride Month, UFCW OUTreach has created a Pride Guide to help UFCW locals show solidarity with UFCW LGBTQ members by taking part in Pride parades. UFCW OUTreach also created a pamphlet to help UFCW locals with LGBTQ issues in the workplace. The pamphlet, titled “Dealing with LGBTQ Issues in the Workplace,” includes on overview of LGBTQ do’s and don’t’s, frequently asked questions, and transgender key terms.
“UFCW locals across the U.S. and Canada are marching in Pride parades, negotiating strong LGBTQ non-discrimination language and building a more inclusive union—showing our members and the community that our UFCW family has Union Pride,” said UFCW OUTreach Chair Michele Kessler.
May 21, 2018
This year, the UFCW’s tribute to members who work the graveyard shift on National Third Shift Workers Day was a success, and photos of UFCW locals thanking third shift workers in creative ways for their hard work and sacrifice continue to pour in.
UFCW Local 2 gave out over 13,000 donuts last week to third shift workers, and UFCW Local 770 gave out “Night Shift Strong” cups to members who keep stores and facilities running through the night.
Here are a few images from UFCW Locals 2 and 770:
May 14, 2018
On May 12, the UFCW once again partnered with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) to sponsor the 26th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive—the largest single-day food drive in the world—and helped collect millions of pounds of non-perishable food made by union members for local food banks. The UFCW has served as a national sponsor of the NALC’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive for the past three years. In that time, the food drive has collected more than 150 million pounds of food.
Nationally, an estimated 42 million Americans, or one in six, struggle with food insecurity, which is defined as not knowing where the next meal is coming from. Over 13 million children are living in a food insecure household, and 5.4 million seniors currently face hunger in our country. The consequences of food insecurity are profound, and contribute to developmental problems for children, and depression among adults, especially seniors.
This food drive has been a way for our union family to address food insecurity in our country and show our friends, neighbors and community members that we care and they are not alone.
Here are a few images from this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive:
May 14, 2018
On May 9—National Third Shift Workers Day—UFCW locals visited members who work the graveyard shift in stores and facilities across the country to thank them for their hard work and sacrifice.
Third shift work can make life unusual and sometimes difficult. According to multiple studies, the risk of workplace injuries, obesity and depression are all increased if a person works overnight. While there is no federal law requiring third shift workers to be provided with any extra pay or benefits, the UFCW is proud to negotiate premium pay for third shift workers to help provide them with the better life they’ve earned and deserve.
“Thank you for recognizing us,” said Beverly Martin, a UFCW Local 8-Golden State member who works at Save Mart in California. “I work the third shift and have for six years now. We get looked over for a lot of things.”
Here are a few images from National Third Shift Workers Day:
May 14, 2018
On May 14, members of the UFCW helped launch the “The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival,” which took place in over 30 states and Washington, D.C. The campaign has scheduled similar events between May 13 and June 23 as part of its “40 Days of Moral Action” for the purpose of challenging systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation, and the nation’s distorted morality.
“The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival,” was founded by Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Rev. Liz Theoharis, the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary, and hundreds of local and national grassroots groups. The campaign builds on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others, who organized the campaign in 1968 to demand economic and human rights for poor Americans of all backgrounds, and is uniting tens of thousands of people across the country.
For more information about the Poor People’s Campaign, contact the UFCW’s Civil Rights and Community Action Department at (202) 223-3111.
May 14, 2018
The UFCW International issued a statement in response to the White House “Artificial Intelligence for American Industry” summit on May 10, which brought together American business leaders to talk about artificial intelligence (AI). Senior government officials, heads of industrial research labs, and technical experts from academic institutions also attended the summit.
Perrone’s statement reads as follows:
“The threat of joblessness due to increased automation is massive and it is beyond time we all came together to discuss solutions.
“To most companies, the desire to automate jobs is not about increasing productivity or improving the service experience; it’s about maximizing profit by eliminating labor costs.
“A strong and functioning society does not exist unless there are jobs for people to earn a living, support a family and build a better life.
“We hope today’s summit is a start towards harnessing technology so that it creates better jobs and an economy that enriches us all, rather than a chosen few.”