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October 10, 2017

Local 653 Launches Hustle Pilot Program

UFCW Local 653 recently launched a successful Hustle pilot program with a few of its stewards to explore another way to increase member-to-member communication. Hustle is the one-on-one text messaging platform available to locals through the UFCW International.

UFCW Local 653 wrote a simple script to ask people to attend one of five regional meetings throughout the first week of October. It was preloaded into the app, along with a list of members. As a pilot program, each steward had a list of 100 members, and additional contacts ready if they had the ability to text more.

The script went as follows:

“Hi Coworker, this is Name, steward with our Union Local 653. We’re negotiating our contract ✊🏽 next year & having big meetings next week for us to work on winning together. www.meetingflier.link Will you join me Oct. 2nd 3rd or 4th?”

As each message was sent, Coworker and Name were automatically replaced by the names of all the members receiving the message and the name of the steward sending the messages. Even better, each member was able to respond individually and the steward was able to engage in a personalized, one-on-one text conversation.

Also included in the message was a Fist Emoji (Union Power!) to catch people’s attention and a link to an online flier so people could click for more information.

In total, five UFCW Local 653 stewards sent messages to 925 coworkers in only a few hours. Over 150 members responded to the messages, which is a very high response rate. The Hustle effort complemented the one-on-one conversations stewards were having with members to encourage high turnout to the regional meetings.

Paul Swanson, one of the UFCW Local 653 stewards who participated, said, “The preloaded messages with basic answers were pretty easy to use. I reached 100 members in less than 15 minutes. Fifteen to 20 members responded to me with additional questions that I was pleased to answer.”

Alex Kunau, another UFCW Local 653 steward, noted, “Hustle was very easy. It was simple, straightforward and I could zip through the contacts fast. It took me less than an hour to get through 200 contacts.”

“Ninety-nine percent of the people were happy to be contacted by a fellow union member,” he added.

UFCW Local 653 has plans to train all stewards in their local to use the Hustle app in 2018.

October 2, 2017

New “How To” Video Features Local 919 Stop & Shop Produce Clerk

Maia Dubar, a UFCW Local 919 member and Stop & Shop produce clerk in Connecticut, is back again with tips about how to pick out and enjoy a kiwano melon, starfruit, and kiwi in the UFCW’s new “how to” video.

This video is part of a series of “how to” tips from UFCW members who are experts in their fields. In addition to Maia’s tips about tropical fruits, the series features expert advice from a UFCW prep cook, cake decorator, makeup artist, florist and butcher.

You can watch Maia show you how to pick out and enjoy tropical fruits here. You can also subscribe to UFCW’s “how to” videos here.

September 25, 2017

Post-Hurricane Safety Tips Are Available for Members

Our union family is dedicated to helping the thousands of hard-working UFCW members stay safe as they return to homes and property damaged by the recent hurricanes. Here are some tips for dealing with safety hazards, such as contaminated floodwater and mold, after the storm is over:

Contaminated Floodwaters

Catastrophic flooding can introduce sewage from external sources into indoor environments. This sewage can pose serious health threats to building occupants and to cleanup and restoration workers. In any flood cleanup, assume that pathogens are present. Keep the following in mind to prevent further harm.

When you are directly exposed to floodwater…

  • Avoid direct skin contact with floodwaters to minimize the chance for infection. Be especially careful of the face and eyes.
  • Protect all cuts, scrapes, and sores.
  • Immediately wash and disinfect any wound that comes in contact with sewage.
  • If skin contact with floodwaters does occur, use soap and water to clean exposed areas. Waterless alcohol-based hand rubs can be used when soap or clean water is not available.
  • Hands should be washed after removal of gloves. Gloves that will be reused should be cleaned with soap and water and dried between uses.

Discard the following…

  • Food
  • Cosmetics
  • Medicines and medical supplies
  • Stuffed animals and toys
  • Mattresses and pillows
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Large carpets and carpet padding
  • Cardboard
  • Impacted sheet rock, ceiling tiles, and similar porous materials

When disinfecting other items…

  • Make a household bleach solution by combining 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach to one gallon of water.
  • Bleach should never be used in concentrated form because it can cause severe skin and respiratory harm.
  • Never use bleach with any product that contains ammonia. Sheetrock, carpets, and other building materials and furnishings that have been damaged by water are likely to now be contaminated with mold. Breathing in or touching mold can cause health problems. Killing mold (for example, with bleach) does not get rid of all the health hazards.

Mold

Sheetrock, carpets, and other building materials and furnishings that have been damaged by water are likely to now be contaminated with mold. Breathing in or touching mold can cause health problems. Killing mold (for example, with bleach) does not get rid of all the health hazards.

When cleaning up your home…

  • Always assume that water-damaged buildings, materials, and furnishings are contaminated with mold.
  • Non-porous materials (metals, glass, hard plastics, etc.) can usually be cleaned.
  • Semi-porous and porous structural materials, such as wood and concrete, can be cleaned if they are structurally sound.
  • Porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and insulation, and wallboards (with more than a small area of mold growth) should be removed and discarded.
  • Disinfectants are usually not needed because physical removal of fungal growth is the most effective way to prevent exposure. Clean with a soap or detergent solution.

While it is your employer’s responsibility to ensure your workplace is safe, being aware of and knowing how to recognize dangerous conditions can help you stay protected at home, as well.

As always, if there is anything we can do to help answer your questions about rebuilding and recovery, or if you’d like to know how you can help, don’t hesitate to let us know at 202-466-1502 or ftapia@ufcw.org.

Sources: NYCOSH

September 25, 2017

UFCW Launches Labor Against Cancer Initiative

The UFCW, in partnership with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), has launched a new “Labor Against Cancer” initiative in the battle to end blood cancers.

This new initiative builds on our 30-year partnership with LLS to fund and support some of the world’s best and brightest blood cancer researchers to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life for patients and their families. Our decades-long partnership with LLS has raised $83 million so far to help fund research that has advanced treatments such as chemotherapy, stem cell transplantation, and smart drugs, which have become the standard for many other cancers.

There are many opportunities to participate in Labor Against Cancer, starting with our first annual member drive. It is simple to donate, and we have worked with LLS to provide some exciting incentives to help promote LLS awareness and member participation, including the opportunity to win Fitbits and Apple Watches.

Everyone knows someone who has dealt with this disease or heard the words “you have cancer,” themselves. Together, we can show our brothers and sisters who are struggling with blood cancers that they are not alone and can have hope for the future. Visit the Labor Against Cancer website here to donate to this worthy cause.

September 11, 2017

Help Members Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

We need your help raising funds for UFCW Local 455’s Membership Assistance Fund to provide vital financial assistance to over 15,000 UFCW members who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. These hard-working men and women are in urgent need of temporary shelter, clothes, fresh food, and other daily essentials, and UFCW Local 455’s Membership Assistance Fund will help them during this critical time.

The UFCW Communications Department has a breakroom poster, graphics, sample social media posts, and a sample email you can use to help raise funds for this important cause. If you are interested in obtaining these materials, contact Erin Ward at eward@ufcw.org. If you are interested in Hustling your members about Hurricane Harvey relief, contact Amber Sparks at asparks@ufcw.org for access to an updated list of your members and sample scripts.

You can donate to UFCW Local 455’s Membership Assistance Fund by filling out the donation form here.

If you are a UFCW member affected by Hurricane Harvey and need assistance, please click here. 

You can read a heartfelt message from UFCW Local 455 President Bill Hopkins here.

September 6, 2017

UFCW Helps Members Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

Local UFCW unions and the International have launched a fundraising drive to aid UFCW Local 455 in providing vital financial assistance to over 15,000 UFCW members who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. These hard-working men and women are in urgent need of temporary shelter, clothes, fresh food, and other daily essentials, and UFCW Local 455’s Membership Assistance Fund will provide vital financial assistance to help them through this critical time.

You can donate to UFCW Local 455’s Membership Assistance Fund by filling out the donation form here.

If you are a UFCW member affected by Hurricane Harvey and need assistance, please click here. 

You can read a heartfelt message from UFCW Local 455 President Bill Hopkins here.

September 5, 2017

UFCW Attends Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions Delegate Conference

On August 25 to 27, UFCW International President Marc Perrone and 123 delegates from UFCW Locals 7, 21, 27, 135, 324, 400, 555, 770, 1428 and 1996 attended the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions Delegate Conference in Portland, Ore. The purpose of the conference was to build solidarity and strength among the coalition with the end goal of negotiating strong contracts with Kaiser Permanente.

The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, AFL-CIO, is a federation of 29 locals from the UFCW and 10 other international unions that represent 120,000 union members. The UFCW represents 11,600 Kaiser Permanente employees, most of whom are professional or technical workers. UFCW Locals 1167 and 1442 also represent Kaiser Permanente workers, but were not able to attend the conference.

President Perrone spoke at the conference, and emphasized the importance of working together to secure strong contracts and improve health care for our members at Kaiser Permanente and those they care for.

“If there is ever a doubt about how important this coalition is or of the value our members offer every single day, let us never forget this: You are the ones that give hope, where too often there is none. You provide comfort and care at our most vulnerable times,” Perrone said.

“It is not politicians or policymakers who make a difference in the lives of others who are suffering from the pains and ills that imperil so many millions. It is us. It is this coalition. It is this diverse union family. We are the ones who have accepted the responsibility to stand together. To work together. To believe in each other, and to unite together to better the lives of those whom we care for, and all our Kaiser members – across every one of our unions. The responsibility of caring for others and for our members is not a responsibility that is borne by one union, any union leader, or even Kaiser itself. It is a responsibility that must be shared and respected.”

September 5, 2017

Our Union Family Celebrates Labor Day

This Labor Day, UFCW Locals across the country partnered with other unions, allies, and community members to pay tribute to America’s workers.

Below are some of the parades and other holiday events that took place:

August 28, 2017

New “How To” Video Features Local 653 Cub Foods Butcher

The UFCW’s new “how to” video features Jon Viner, a butcher at Cub Foods in Minneapolis and member of UFCW Local 653, who shows you how to cut up a whole chicken.

This video is part of a series of “how to” tips from UFCW members who are experts in their fields. In addition to Jon’s tips about how to cut up and make the most out of a whole chicken, the series features expert advice from a UFCW produce clerk, prep cook, cake decorator, makeup artist, and florist.

You can watch Jon show you how to cut up a whole chicken here. You can also subscribe to UFCW’s “how to” videos here.

August 21, 2017

Local 400 Passes Resolution in Reaction to Violence in Charlottesville

Photo by Mark Dixon titled “Charlottesville” via Creative Commons.

On August 16, the board of directors of UFCW Local 400 passed an official resolution condemning white supremacy and the violent actions of bigots in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month.

“Now is a time to make it clear what we stand for,” said UFCW Local 400 President Mark Federici. “Unity and solidarity are core values of our union family. We embody the diversity that makes our country great. The hard-working men and women of Local 400 stand together for a better life for all Americans. Hatred simply has no place in our union or in our country.”

UFCW Local 400 has nearly 11,000 members who live and work in Virginia, including grocery workers at three Kroger stores and one Giant Food store in the city of Charlottesville. The resolution was approved by a unanimous vote of the board of directors at a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday.

The resolution mourns the death of Heather Heyer and further expresses full support of “all counter-protesters who demonstrated against the hateful white supremacists.” In addition, the board resolution mourns the deaths of Virginia state troopers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates, who lost their lives in the line of duty while serving the Commonwealth.

The full text of the resolution is below:

WHEREAS, nearly 11,000 United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 members live and work in the Commonwealth of Virginia;

WHEREAS, we are proud that our membership reflects the racial, ethnic, sexual identity, and religious diversity of the Commonwealth and our great nation;

WHEREAS, although racism is hardly a new phenomenon in the United States, the Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded a significant spike in hate crimes since Donald Trump’s election, as well as violent gatherings of white supremacists, including the deadly events in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend;

WHEREAS, the wealthy and powerful have always used the politics of hate, division, and racism to divide the working class and weaken unions;

WHEREAS, by forging interracial solidarity, Lipton Tea workers in Suffolk, Va., recently won a union contract that dramatically lowers health care premiums, raises wages and secures better working conditions for all;

THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED that UFCW Local 400 condemns the racist, violent actions of Nazis, and white nationalists, and attendees of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville this weekend.

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that UFCW Local 400 rejects in the strongest possible terms the ideology of white supremacy.

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that UFCW Local 400 mourns the death of Heather Heyer and will fight like hell for the living in her name.

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that UFCW Local 400 is deeply saddened by the deaths of two Virginia state troopers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates, who lost their lives in the line of duty while serving the Commonwealth;

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that UFCW Local 400 fully supports all counter-protesters who demonstrated against the hateful white supremacists who attended the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, and UFCW Local 400 extends our thoughts and prayers to all counter-protesters who were injured in the resulting violence.

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that UFCW Local 400 recommits ourselves to the struggle for racial and economic justice, gender equality, and human and civil rights for all, and stands in solidarity with anyone who is fighting for the same.