News and Updates
February 25, 2011
Indianapolis, In—Grocery workers and members of the United Food and Commercial Union (UFCW) across Indiana and part of Ohio, yesterday, began wearing stickers to work, with messages of solidarity in support of their union brothers and sisters fighting for workers’ right in the public sector. The UFCW is the largest private sector union in those states and the first to take the fight for workers’ rights inside the workplace.
The union members and grocery workers are wearing the stickers because they understand that all workers nationwide are under attack right now by Wall Street and the politicians they have in their pocket—most of all workers in unions. They know that unions are defenders of good jobs, and that where unions are strong they bring wages and working standards up for everyone. And they want their customers and the public to know that, too.
UFCW members know that most Americans are tired of the political rhetoric, and the media’s attempt to create false conflict by pitting private sector worker against public sector worker.
“”My customers know we’re union and they support us. By wearing these stickers we’re standing up as a community against these attacks on working families,” said Carrie Frye, 20-year food service manager and UFCW Local 700 member at the Kroger in Speedway, Indiana.
Images of Kroger workers fighting for good jobs in Indiana can be found online here. To learn more about the UFCW’s efforts fighting for Indiana workers and how you can help, go to www.voteufcw.org and click on “Indiana.”
September 29, 2008
(Indianapolis, IN) Workers in Indiana’s grocery industry now have better jobs and a stronger voice at the bargaining table, thanks to a new agreement between UFCW Local 700 and the Kroger Company.
The contract covers 1100 Kroger/Sav-On workers in central Indiana, and includes:
- Early and significant wage increases and bonuses;
- Major improvements to health and welfare, with employer contribution increases;
- Increases in paid holidays, vacations, and personal days.
“I am thrilled,” said Jennifer Keating, Local 700 member and Kroger Sav-On employee. “I’ve only been with the company a little over a year, and with this contract I’m going to get $2.65 in raises in just one year. And I’ve also gained another week’s paid vacation.”
Marcia Sisson, a pharmacy tech at Kroger Sav-On and UFCW 700 member, agreed. “It’s a great deal,” she said of the agreement, which increases her pay $3 over the contract.
“UFCW Local 700 is part of the Grocery Workers United program, which is leading a nationwide effort to make grocery jobs good jobs,” said UFCW Local 700 President Joe Chorpenning. “The UFCW has settled good contracts, the kind that bring good jobs, in cities across the country—including right here in Indianapolis. By uniting workers to bargain better contracts,” he said, “we’re helping grocery workers throughout Indiana turn supermarket jobs into good, middle class jobs—the kind that come with affordable health care, a living wage, and a secure retirement, and that benefit workers and their communities.”
Members are keenly aware of the difference the contract will make to their standard of living. “Gaining this new prescription card will save me hundreds of dollars,” said Miranda Biddle, Local 700 member and Kroger Sav-On employee. “And I gain another $250,000 in coverage and free cleanings, vision and dental improvements, too. I love it!”
“Grocery store workers across Indiana are enjoying better lives because they are uniting to improve wages and benefits in the grocery industry,” said Chorpenning. “And we’re taking that message to every community in Indiana, from Evansville to Fort Wayne.”
January 18, 2008
(Washington, DC) – The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is deeply concerned that the state of Indiana is not forthcoming with accurate information about the location of the worksite in which workers have been diagnosed with a rare neurological illness.
According to local news reports, the Indiana Department of Health is refusing to identify the name or location of the facility citing privacy concerns. This is in stark contrast to the actions of state health officials, UFCW representatives and company officials in Minnesota where the work-related disease was first discovered.
It appears that only three meatpacking plants in the United States use an air-compression system to harvest brains from pork — QPP in Austin, Minnesota, Hormel in Fremont, Nebraska and Indiana Packers in Delphi, Indiana. Investigators from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have identified Indiana Packers as the site of the new cases of yet unnamed the inflammatory neurological condition.
UFCW Local 700 President Joe Chorpenning said, “One can assume that Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and his state government doesn’t care about regular working people that would hide information that might protect workers from neurological illness.””
When workers became stricken with the mysterious neurological illness in Austin, QPP immediately contacted the UFCW about working together to identify any risks to workers in their plant. The UFCW knows that QPP and Hormel stopped that production line immediately upon discovery of the illness.
No cases have been found in Nebraska. In Minnesota, NIOSH has determined there are 12 confirmed cases among the workforce at QPP.