News and Updates
November 7, 2016
In the 2016 election cycle, UFCW lost-timers contacted more than 400,000 voters. In the final week, more than 1,000 members of our union family volunteered their time in the field to help get out the vote.
Click through the photos below to see our union family in action.
October 27, 2016
This month, after standing together to improve working conditions, Jim Beam workers in Clermont and Boston, Ky., ratified a new contract by a vote of 204 to 19. The workers are members of UFCW Local 111D.
UFCW Local 111D President Janelle Mudd released the following statement regarding the new two-year contract:
“Today’s vote is the culmination of the efforts of many to reach a compromise that will, ultimately, benefit everyone. After months of negotiation and feeling like the voice of UFCW 111D was not being heard, we had hoped that we would not have to go on strike to reach an agreement with Beam Suntory management. In the end, we made a strong statement and we were heard.
“The final proposal includes many of the key elements that we felt so strongly about, such as equal pay for equal work, a cap on temporary employees and the hiring of more full-time employees. We appreciate management’s diligence to reach an agreement with the union. They met with employees from a cross section of departments from both the Clermont and Boston plants, and representatives talked to employees on the picket line to clarify the areas of greatest need.
“We would also like to thank all the organizations, businesses and individuals who supported us with donations of money, supplies, food and beverages; those who honked, waved and stopped to give words of encouragement; those who picketed with us; and those who refused to cross the picket line.”
October 17, 2016
A rapidly changing, knowledge-based economy is influencing the way U.S. workers are looking at training and job security, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
The report, titled The State of American Jobs, shows that occupations requiring skills and education has increased by 68 percent since 1980. American workers are well aware of shifting economic trends, and believe they will need continuous training to keep pace with a rise in jobs requiring social and analytical skills. According to the report, about 63 percent of Americans believe they have less job security than they did decades ago due to several factors, including an increased outsourcing of jobs and imports of foreign products; an increased use of temporary or contract workers; and the decline of union membership.
The report was conducted in association with the Markle Foundation, and was based on a national survey conducted among 5,006 U.S. adults between May 25 and June 29, 2016. A full copy of the report can be found here.
September 21, 2016
Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report showing that incomes increased for middle- and low-income families in 2015—the biggest increase in decades since the agency began tracking this measure in 1968. According to the report, real median household income was $56,500 in 2015, up from $53,700 in 2014, an increase of 5.2 percent.
The increases were seen in households on all ends of the economic spectrum, but the biggest raises were for families led by those in the 35 to 44 age range. While this is good news for workers in cities that saw an income increase of 7.3 percent, median incomes did not grow significantly in rural areas. In addition, the South had weaker income growth than the West.
September 14, 2016
On September 7, the St. Paul City Council passed the Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance by a vote of 7-0, joining Minneapolis and dozens of other cities nationwide that mandate earned sick leave. Members of UFCW Local 1189 played a big role in the passage of this legislation.
“The ability to earn and use sick time in the city of St. Paul is a huge step toward creating healthier workplaces and healthier lives,” said UFCW Local 1189 President Jennifer Christensen. “I am proud of the tireless work done by our state’s unions. Bennie Hesse, Local 1189 legislative and political director, was a leader in the crusade, working with Union Steward (and Executive Board Member) Dennis Reeves to provide important testimony to the city council on the need for paid sick and safe time for grocery workers.”
Members of UFCW Local 1189 served on a task force put together by the city council and mayor for a year and worked with a coalition of advocates and other labor groups to raise awareness about this issue. The Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance takes effect on July 1, 2017 for businesses in St. Paul with at least 24 employees. Smaller businesses will have to comply by Jan. 1, 2018.
August 18, 2016
Hundreds of UFCW Local 770 members at Farmer John packinghouse in Vernon, California this week used their collective voice to ensure respect for their rights on the job and preserve the protections that being part of union family provides, such as improved safety enforcement.
The men and women at Farmer John work hard to produce bacon, sausage, ham, and hot dogs, including the famous “Dodger Dog”, among other pork products. Their expertise and dedication is a driving force behind the success of Hormel Foods, which Farmer John is a subsidiary of.
July 20, 2016
On July 1, Kroger workers who are members of UFCW Local 1995 ratified a new contract. The contract covers 12,000 Kroger workers in middle and east Tennessee, north Alabama, and south Kentucky.
The new contract includes wage increases and affordable health care, maintains the employee pension fund, and revises tiers for pay, vacation and holidays.
“The Local 1995 Bargaining Committee and staff did a great job in understanding our members’ needs and effectively communicating those to Kroger,” said UFCW Local 1995 President Gregory Stallings. “Therefore, we were able to reach a Memorandum of Agreement with the company and complete the ratification process prior to July 4th.”
July 14, 2016
Specifically, the legislation allowed union members to cancel their membership at any time, rather than waiting the usual one-year period. This means that corporations were made to be more powerful as they would be able to easily intimidate workers into leaving their union early. By overturning this law, it will be easier for hard-working families in Georgia to negotiate for better working conditions and wages. Ultimately, more people and communities will now be able to enjoy the financial stability and higher standard of living that comes with being a part of a union.
UFCW Local 1996, which helped to lead the lawsuit, celebrated the good news. “They spent precious legislative time and money in 2013 going after the working families that make our state great,” said UFCW Local 1996 President Steve Lomax of the leaders who pushed for the legislation. “Tens of thousands of taxpayer-funded dollars for a long legal fight gained nothing for Georgia citizens.”
July 7, 2016
On June 28, workers at Chemtrade Solutions in Odem, Texas, voted unanimously to join the International Chemical Workers Union Council (ICWUC) of the UFCW. The workers wanted better wages, a safer work environment and a voice in their workplace. Chemtrade Solutions is a supplier of water treatment chemicals for municipalities. This is the second election the ICWUC has won unanimously in the last ten months since the DuBois Chemicals victory.
“The ICWUC organizing department is an organizing machine, and we’re working hard to make the lives of our members and soon to be members better,” said ICWUC President Frank Cyphers. “We welcome the Chemtrade Solutions workers to our union family.”
May 19, 2016
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Last week, members of Congress from across the country, together with members of the UFCW, joined together to help launch the National Association of Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.
“Stamp Out Hunger,” the largest single-day food drive, invited Americans to leave food by their mailboxes on Saturday, May 14 for collection by their neighborhood letter carriers for delivery to local food pantries.
This year, the UFCW, as a national title sponsor, invited Congressional offices and members from both sides of the aisle to participate. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.), and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) and their staff participated in helping us to promote this worthy cause.
UFCW Locals from all across the country also hosted their own events, making this year’s food drive one of the biggest and best that anyone had ever seen.
UFCW members see the effects of hunger in America every single day. Every time someone has to turn back and put something away in one of our checkout lines because they don’t have enough money, we feel for them. For millions of families, this year’s food drive was a small, but important, step towards fixing that problem.
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