News and Updates
May 6, 2010
UFCW JOINS LEADING CIVIL RIGHTS AND LABOR ORGANIZATIONS TO PROTEST ARIZONA
WASHINGTON – The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) today joined leading civil rights and labor organizations to announce an economic boycott of the state of Arizona. The boycott is in protest of Arizona’s new law, SB 1070, which essentially legalizes racial profiling.
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Under the banner, “Boycott Intolerance,” the groups held a press conference this morning to denounce SB 1070 and pledged not to hold major conventions, conferences or other special events involving significant travel to Arizona from out-of-state.
The UFCW released the following statement about the boycott:
“Arizona’s legislation is unworkable, it is unconstitutional and it undermines our nation’s rich immigrant history and heritage. It is a recipe for racial profiling and a marked retreat from the values and ideals that make America strong.
“For our members, this issue is personal. UFCW members have seen first-hand how enforcement-only tactics fuel racial profiling—and lead to the trampling of our constitution.
“We saw it during the Bush Administration raids on our Swift plants—how Latino workers were treated, how they were profiled because of the color of their skin, how law enforcement separated workers based simply on who they believed were undocumented.
“We saw how these heavy handed tactics unfairly – and incorrectly – targeted U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. That is why we are committed to fighting this legislation – and why we are abstaining from doing business in the state of Arizona until this issue is resolved.
“But let’s be clear, the UFCW is not turning its backs on the workers of Arizona that are going to be targeted by this unjust law—we will work hard to defend their constitutional rights. We will be providing legal assistance and resources to ensure that all workers can vigorously defend their rights.
“Our country – and our communities – cannot stand by while these draconian measures are allowed to spread across our country.
“In recent years, the debate over immigration has grown increasingly polarizing. The Arizona bill is the result of that divisive debate—and the product of political expediency at its worst.
“America needs an immigration system that works for the American worker. We need to refocus this debate on real, meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform that restores the rule of law, respects the constitutional rights of all workers and recognizes the incredible role that our nation’s diversity has played—and will continue to play—in making our communities strong and vibrant.”
April 29, 2010
UFCW PRESIDENT CONDEMNS ARIZONA’S ANTI-IMMIGRANT LAW
United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) President Joe Hansen released the following statement today denouncing Arizona’s controversial new immigration law:
“”Arizona’s new immigration law is unworkable, unconstitutional and it undermines our nation’s rich immigrant history and heritage. It is a recipe for racial profiling and a marked retreat from the values and ideals that have made America strong.
“”In recent years, the debate over immigration has grown increasingly inflammatory, polarizing, and, at times, it has run counter to our nation’s interests and our better instincts. This bill is the result of that divisive debate—and the product of political expediency at its worst.
“”The UFCW strongly denounces the legislation and urges the Department of Justice to aggressively challenge its constitutionality. We also urge Congress to lead on this critical issue at the federal level, where it belongs and where it can be addressed in a comprehensive, rational and productive manner.
“”All across the country, UFCW locals and our members are organizing and mobilizing their communities around the importance of comprehensive immigration reform and protecting workers’ constitutional rights.
“”America needs a 21st century immigration system that works for the American worker—a system where undocumented workers can come out of the shadows and get right with the law, a system where all workers can see their job and earnings prospects strengthened because bottom feeding employers are no longer given free reign to hire and abuse undocumented immigrants, and a system where all workers can speak up without fear of retaliation or discrimination.
“”Together, we can bring stability and security to our economy, to our borders and to our families. Together, we can refocus this debate on real, meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform that restores the rule of law, respects the constitutional rights of all workers, and recognizes the incredible role that our nation’s diversity has played—and will continue to play—in making our communities strong and vibrant.””
August 2, 2005
The ‘Wal-Mart Health Care Crisis’ Grows
The state of Arizona released new numbers showing Wal-Mart has over 2,700 employees and dependents, nearly 10% of its workforce in Arizona, receiving health care at the expense of Arizona taxpayers.
“”Everyday new numbers reveal the sad truth about Wal-Mart’s poor health insurance – Wal-Mart profits and the American taxpayers pay,”” said Paul Blank, campaign director for WakeUpWalMart.com.
Nationwide, Wal-Mart fails to provide company health insurance to more than half of its employees – that’s more than 600,000 Wal-Mart workers with no company health insurance. Wal-Mart’s poor health care not only contributes to our nation’s health care crisis, it forces tens of thousands of their workers to rely on taxpayer funded public health care assistance.
Most outrageous is that Wal-Mart knows it has a problem, but, despite their $10 billion in profits, chooses to do nothing to address this serious issue. Just last week, the Arkansas Democratic Gazette reported Ray Bracy, Wal-Mart Vice-President for Federal and International Public Affairs, said Wal-Mart has “”a lot of people on state rolls. We wish it wasn’t so.”” Even Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart, explained that the reason so many Wal-Mart workers were on public health care was that it was a “”better value”” than the health care coverage Wal-Mart, the #1 company in the Fortune 500, provides.
“”Wishful thinking is a poor excuse for failing to provide company health care to more than 600,000 workers,”” said Blank. “”It is downright un-American for Wal-Mart to force taxpayers to foot their health care bill. It’s time for Wal-Mart to wake up and do the right thing.””