Washington DC – Today, 41 U.S. Senators obstructed the passage of the Dream Act and sent a message to the rest of the world that politics trumps fundamental American principles of fairness, opportunity, and justice. They rejected bipartisan legislation that, had it been passed, would have provided undocumented young women and men who were brought to the U.S. as young children with a pathway to U.S. citizenship if they attend college or perform military service. Every Republican Senator, except Senator Lugar, as well as Democratic Senators Max Baucus, Kay Hagan, Ben Nelson, Mark Pyror, and Jon Tester walked away from their responsibilities to lead.

The unique fabric of American society – hard work, entrepreneurship, loyalty to country, ingenuity and invention – stitched together by generations of immigrants will continue to endure regardless of this disheartening vote. The dreams of young people will not be checked, and the UFCW will continue to fight for a broad and bipartisan coalition to restore the American Dream and pass the Dream Act.

Union Declares Victory Over Walmart in Free Speech Battle

MONTREAL, QUEBEC– The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW Canada) is declaring victory in an 18-month free speech battle with Walmart that concentrated on the labor rights website www.walmartworkerscanada.ca. In June 2009, the world’s largest retailer filed a motion with the Quebec Superior Court for an injunction against the popular and long-standing website maintained by UFCW Canada citing trade-mark infringement.

On Dec. 15 a confidential settlement was achieved that does not affect the continued existence of www.walmartworkerscanada.ca and its long-established commitment to communicating with Walmart workers in Canada about their rights.

“”This is a huge victory for Walmart workers and their ability to freely communicate on the internet,”” said UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley from the Superior Court house within moments of the settlement win for www.walmartworkerscanada.ca, which will continue to be dedicated to helping Walmart workers to empower themselves and improve their lives through collective bargaining.

“”Despite the best efforts of the world’s largest corporation to dictate the terms of online communication, www.walmartworkerscanada.ca will remain an excellent labor rights resource, and will proudly continue a seven year tradition of serving Walmart Associates as a place where they can learn about their rights, and how to exercise those rights as workers in Canada,”” added Hanley. “”Today’s victory also ensures that www.walmartworkerscanada.ca will remain a safe and familiar place for Walmart workers to freely share their experiences with other Associates across the country without any fear of reprisal.””

UFCW Canada has been leading the campaign to help Walmart Associates exercise their rights as workers in Canada for over a decade.

UFCW Statement on the Proposed U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement

Washington DC – The recently announced proposed U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement represents a small, but not insignificant, step forward on U.S. global trade agreements.

UFCW and its members would like to recognize Ambassador Ron Kirk and his team for the improvements they negotiated to the Bush agreement of 2007. In particular, the Administration insisted on meaningful changes in the automobile sector that will help American autoworkers and manufacturers achieve a more level playing field. Also, academics estimate that the Korean agreement will create over 20,000 jobs in the U.S meat export producing sectors that employ hundreds of thousands of UFCW members.

All U.S. global trade agreements should seek primarily to assure that the U.S. remains a leader on fair global trade, to restore manufacturing, and to get American workers back on the job. This proposed agreement makes improvements on each of those fronts. Looking ahead, we must work for a fairer global trade structure that benefits workers as much as business.