Real People. Real Action.
We’re the United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW), a proud union family of 1.3 million hard-working men and women working together to provide a better life for our families and yours.
Our union family is building worker and community leaders that will meet the needs and aspirations of working families. We want to strengthen our communities to achieve economic, racial and social justice.
Our members know that no one should struggle alone. It only takes one conversation to create lasting change that grows power for working people. Join us and amplify the voices of our membership.
Take a Stand.
People who are a part of UFCW have joined together to take back control of their lives. We are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive democracy for our communities and workplaces.
Stick together and win.
For our members, we negotiate better lives for our union family and work with irresponsible employers to help make them more responsible employers. For nonmembers who want a better life, we’re here to make a real difference in the lives of those workers who want to make their employers better and are tired of struggling alone.
Make a Positive Impact
Making a positive impact in the lives of others isn’t easy, but we’re committed to improving our communities, and the lives of our customers and co-workers. From helping feed the hungry to working together with employers to make positive change, we know the power we all have to make a difference in the lives others.
Rain or Shine, UFCW is Family
We are 1.3 million qualified and empowered working men and women who are determined to create a better and more just workplace. We are working with responsible employers in the U.S. and Canada, and around the world, to ensure workplace safety and improve wages and benefits. We are the UFCW, and by standing together, we can make a difference.
March 27, 2017
Last week, more than 35 UFCW Local 400 members went to the U.S. Capitol to discuss the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, immigration raids, and national “work for less” legislation with members of Congress from Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Isoline Pistolessi, a UFCW Local 400 shop steward at Kaiser Permanente’s Falls Church Care Center, brought her firsthand experience with the Affordable Care Act directly to lawmakers.
“I’ve seen patients who just got health insurance for the first time; that’s what enabled them to come in and get care,” Pistolessi said. “We can’t take that away from them. We need to make health care more affordable, not less.”
Pistolessi also offered a personal account about why immigration raids are so damaging.
“My family came to this country from the Dominican Republic when I was six years old,” she said. “My father was going to be assassinated and came here as a political exile. Before we left, our neighbors were raided and it was very scary—I could hear the screaming. No one should ever have to go through that—especially here in the U.S.”
“I became a U.S. citizen eight years ago,” she noted. “I had to work really hard to get my citizenship. We need to make it possible for others to follow the same path.”
Andy Keeney, who works at Kroger in West Virginia, spoke with several senators and representatives about why a national “work for less” law would be such a bad idea. “In my meetings, I just explained how strong unions help every community in America,” Keeney said. “We bring people a voice in their workplace, better wages, better working conditions, better health care – a national “work for less” law would only make it more difficult for people to earn those good things.”
As the day came to a close, UFCW Local 400 members were happy with how their meetings went and were excited that they were able to bring a big crowd in UFCW blue and gold to the halls of power.
“My favorite part about today was showing senators and representatives that we’re a strong, unified group,” said Anita Carpenter, who works at Kroger in West Virginia. “When we come here all together, it gives us a larger voice to speak about the issues we care about – like better wages and better working conditions. Participating in opportunities like this are really important.”
March 27, 2017
A majority of 17,000 UFCW Local 876 members who work in 125 Kroger stores in southeast Michigan voted to accept a new contract with the company on March 15.
The new contract increases wages and secures benefits. Workers’ health care and benefits were protected in the new contract for both full- and part-time employees and their spouses, and pension contributions were increased across the board. The new contract also improves working conditions at the stores. Now, part-time workers can claim more hours, up to 34 hours per week (up from 28 hours), and can earn more paid time off.
“Our UFCW 876 members are the reason why Kroger is so profitable right now, and they deserve to share in that success,” said UFCW 876 President Roger Robinson. “They work hard every day to make sure Kroger is the place people want to shop in southeast Michigan. Their high-quality customer service deserves to be rewarded and I’m glad that is recognized in this contract.”
March 27, 2017
On March 15, 43 glass manufacturers for medical supplies at Wheaton Industries in Millville, N.J., voted to join UFCW Local 152.
The workers were concerned about wages, the lack of a bidding process for jobs, and favoritism. Wheaton Industries management hired an anti-union consultant, but the workers stood together and voted 28 to 14 for a voice in the workplace.
“The workers really stuck together through this process,” said Chad Brooks, the director of organizing at UFCW Local 152. “They were not swayed by the company’s anti-union campaign. The organizers and the committee did a great job leading the workers to a hard fought victory. We look forward to negotiating a great contract, and giving these workers the better life they deserve.”
March 21, 2017
On March 18, members of UFCW Local 655 who work at Holten Meat in Sauget, Ill., rejected a contract offer that asked them to work harder for less, and made the difficult decision to authorize a strike.
No matter where our members live or the local they are part of, our union family is stronger when we stand together. Our members who work at Holten Meat have made it clear that a work-life balance is not only important, it’s worth fighting for.
“The issue for our members is about quality of life. It’s about having more control over their lives,” said UFCW Local 655 President Dave Cook.
UFCW Local 655 has been negotiating with Holten Meat over this contract for more than four months. While many workers are satisfied with the wages and benefits the company offers, they’ve become frustrated with schedules that make them choose between working and spending time with their families.
Why is this an issue worth standing up for? Today, a veteran employee who works on the night shift at Holten Meat is unable to use his or her seniority to transfer into an open day shift position. Instead, Holten Meat will frequently hire new employees to fill the open day shifts, making our most committed and dedicated members work schedules that sacrifice time from family.
Members are also being asked to split their days off, meaning they have to spend part of the weekend at work and away from their families for no extra pay.
As we all know, our hard-working members can relate to what’s happening at Holten Meat. The dedicated members who work simply want the better life they’ve earned, and supporting a family shouldn’t mean that you never get to see them.
“Give these hard-working men and women the contract they have earned and deserve,” Cook said. “It’s that simple.”
March 21, 2017
On March 17, Pearl Sawyer, executive vice president of UFCW Canada Local 1006A, served as the keynote speaker at a U.N. Commission on the Status of Women parallel event sponsored by the Scottish Women’s Convention in New York City. Sawyer presented a paper on behalf of UNI Global Union and UNI Equal Opportunities on the digitalization of work and the effect on gender.
One of the key findings presented was that 47 percent of current jobs being performed across the globe are amenable to being potentially computerized. The types of jobs that will be affected by digitalization will have a direct impact on positions held by women.
The effects of this will require workers to invest in further training and lifelong learning. Unfortunately, this can pose a challenge for women as they can neither afford it due social, cultural and economic barriers, or they cannot fit this need with their family duties and their need to work.
Digitalization of work will also lead to a widening of the technology gap. However, a study from the World Bank predicts that if we double the pace at which women become frequent users of digital technologies, the workplace could reach gender equality by 2040 in developed nations, and by 2060 in developing nations.
After outlining the effects of digitalization on work and gender, Sawyer then addressed the need for solutions: “So what can we do? At UNI Equal Opportunities, we want to be prepared for what lies ahead. We know that it is a daunting, and sometimes frightening scenario, but if we are ready, this challenge can become an excellent opportunity to grow and learn. And to be ready, we need a strategy, a plan. We need to be resourceful, we need to be prepared.”
With the right skills and education, people, particularly women, can use technology to create and capture value. Creative, problem-solving, and social skills will be key skills in the 21st century, especially in those areas where computers are still challenged to match human proficiency.
March 20, 2017
In March, RWDSU/UFCW Local 3 members who work at Bloomingdale’s in New York City thanked customers for shopping at the store. RWDSU/UFCW Local 3 members handed out fliers to remind Bloomingdale’s shoppers that when they shop at the store, they are supporting good jobs in New York City. They also let Bloomingdale’s shoppers know that negotiations for a new contract are coming up soon.
March 20, 2017
Last December, 28 workers at Colonial Parking, Inc. in Wilmington, Del., voted to join UFCW Local 27.
The workers were concerned about low wages, unfair treatment by management, and not having seniority recognized. Even though the company hired union busters, the workers stood strong and were very united.
“I’m glad we won,” said Russell Marshall, a worker at Colonial Parking, Inc.
“These workers fought hard for what they believed in, which was having a brighter future that comes with having a voice on the job,” said Nelson Hill, UFCW Local 27 vice president and director of organizing.
“I am very proud of the organizers and the leadership of their director, Nelson Hill, in this victory,” said UFCW Local 27 President Jason Chorpenning. “This employer employed a union busting law firm, but our organizers were able to overcome the law firm’s lies and threats and educate and empower these workers. After their long, hard fight and victory, we are preparing for negotiations to increase pay, improve their working conditions, provide job protection, and guarantee a future for all of these hard-working folks and their families!”
March 13, 2017
Over 100 RWDSU/UFCW members employed at New York City car washes attended a meeting on March 8 which focused on immigrant rights and how immigrant workers can protect themselves during the increasingly hostile Trump era. Consulate officials from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and Ecuador, as well as representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and community groups Make the Road New York and New York Communities for Change, discussed how immigrants should act if approached by immigration officials and how they can get legal help, if needed.
The RWDSU/UFCW’s Car Wash Campaign has worked for more five years to clean up the car wash industry and improve conditions for the workers, who are known as “carwasheros.” Workers at 10 shops have voted to join the RWDSU/UFCW and have won contracts.
For workers, it is proving to be an uncertain time.
“We come to this country in search of a better future for our families. We are good people, we do nothing but work honestly. President Trump should give us a chance and not be so hard on us,” said Simon Salvador, who has been working as a carwashero in Brooklyn for the past 15 years.
RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum affirmed the union’s commitment to fighting for carwasheros and all immigrant workers.
“The U.S. labor movement has a moral obligation to defend working women and men and their families, regardless of their immigration status,” Appelbaum said.
March 13, 2017
On March 8, the UFCW joined women and male supporters across the globe to celebrate International Women’s Day, and recognize the contributions women have made to bettering their workplaces and strengthening our union family.
To commemorate the day, UFCW International President Marc Perrone released a statement, highlighting that “Women make up a majority of our union family, so we understand firsthand the incredible good that comes to workplaces when they have the ability to earn the same success as their male coworkers.” Read the full statement here.
One of the many ways women of the UFCW have found a voice and an opportunity to lead is by becoming a steward. Taralyn Pike, a UFCW Local 400 member who works at Giant, made the decision to become a steward approximately five months ago. After five years at Giant, she’d started to notice “a great deal of unhappiness” at her store. Rather than shrug it off, Taralyn decided she would do something about it. On International Women’s Day, we shared Taralyn’s story on ufcw.org to spread her positive message throughout our hard-working union family.
Staff at the UFCW International also wore red to commemorate the day, standing in solidarity with women across the country. They also joined other labor unions and progressive groups at the Department of Labor for a rally to support women workers.
UFCW Locals were also very involved in celebrating the day, including members of UFCW Local 1500, who visited female members at their workplaces to show their appreciation for all they do. Check out a quick video of the action here.
March 7, 2017
Was your New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier? If so, you’re in luck. To celebrate National Nutrition Month, throughout March our UFCW family and its many food workers will be bringing you tips for a better life through healthy eating.
Spring is just around and the corner, making March the perfect time of year to refocus on eating right, getting healthy, and chasing away those winter blues. We know how hard it can be to balance work with all the demands of your life and still stay focused on your nutrition, but eating healthier foods doesn’t have to be a chore. Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing tips with you to make it easier to stay excited and engaged, and help get you on track to a better you and a better life.
Head to ufcw.org for a quick plan for better eating, and put your best fork forward for #NationalNutritionMonth!