March, 2012

Eurofresh Farms Workers in Arizona Approve New Contract

Workers at Eurofresh Farms overwhelmingly approved a new 3 year agreement. Eurofresh grows tomatoes and cucumbers in huge greenhouses in Arizona. Local 99 represents over 800 crop workers and packing house workers there.

Raley’s Refusal to Extend Contract During Bargaining Jeopardizes Northern California Jobs

UFCW Local 5 is extremely concerned about the increasingly aggressive approach Raley’s is taking at the bargaining table in Northern California. Negotiations have been ongoing since October and have yet to completely resolve the very complicated issues of affordable health care, compensation and the availability of full-time employment. Raley’s recently announced to the Sacramento Bee that it had no intention of signing a contract extension with Local 5 because the union “had no interest in reaching a settlement.”

“Nothing could be further that the truth,” said Local 5 President Ron Lind, “We understand the company’s concerns about the difficult economic environment in which they operate and have proposed constructive and creative solutions that would address those concerns. Those efforts continue to be met with draconian proposals to undercut decades of progress for grocery workers while throwing thousands of them into poverty by eliminating their affordable healthcare.”

“Local 5 will continue bargaining for as long as it takes to reach an agreement that protects the interests of our members Unfortunately, the recent reckless actions of the company call into question their willingness to do the same. It’s disappointing to see that they are interested in confrontation instead of finding a middle ground,” said Lind.

The union is preparing to schedule special meetings with workers from Raley’s and Nob Hill, a company subsidiary. At those meetings, members will be updated on the progress of the talks and possibly be asked to authorize a strike, Lind said.

Grocery Workers United will continue to update you with the latest news on negotiations in Northern California.

UFCW PRESIDENT JOE HANSEN CALLS FOR CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION INTO NLRB LEAKS

WASHINGTON, DC—Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and Chair of Change to Win, today released the following statement in response to the Inspector General’s report showing that National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Member Terence Flynn engaged repeatedly in improper conduct when he was chief counsel to Member Brian Hayes.

“These are serious allegations and I urge the appropriate Congressional Committees to launch a full investigation. The NLRB must carry out its important mission of ensuring union elections are conducted freely and fairly. Regrettably, this independent agency has consistently come under political attack from Members of Congress and candidates for President who want to make it harder for workers to organize. The fact that this effort was reportedly being orchestrated by a high-profile employee of the Board is completely unacceptable. NLRB members and staff should serve as referees, striving for the fairest possible outcome and ensuring rules are followed and enforced. This Inspector General’s report suggests Member Flynn used his prior position to choose sides, bolstering big business at the expense of workers and their fundamental rights. Congress should get to the bottom of this and hold all wrongdoers fully accountable.”