April, 2012

Statement by UFCW International President Joe Hansen Calling for Walmart CEO and Board Chair Resignations

(Washington, D.C.) – 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 to join Walmart associates in the demand for leadership changes at the retail giant.“The corruption scandal and reported cover-up exposed an unacceptable failure of leadership within Walmart. Walmart Chairman Rob Walton and CEO Mike Duke must resign immediately in an effort to restore integrity and accountability for Walmart associates, shareholders, customers, and communities. “The New York Times exposed a widespread pattern of Walmart executives bribing government officials to secure permits to build stores in Mexico, followed by a cover-up led by corporate leaders including Duke and Walton. The article raises serious questions about whether Walmart has used the same tactics for its expansion in the United States and across the globe. “For decades, Walmart has pursued a growth-at-any-cost strategy in cities and towns across the United States and globally. In the U.S., we have watched Walmart secure the building permits, variances, and zoning changes to open its stores, in spite of concerted community opposition.“The public deserves a wholly independent and thorough investigation of Walmart’s practices. Communities across the globe should take heed of Walmart’s reported unlawful and unethical practices in Mexico, as the company works at a rapid pace to in expand its retail stores in South Africa, India, and China, to name a few, in addition to its global supply chain operations.”

UFCW Members Voice Concerns, USDA Extends Comment Period on Poultry Inspection Rule

Last week, in response to UFCW members around the country submitting their opposition to a Big Poultry-driven inspection process being considered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Secretary Tom Vilsack agreed to extend the comment period on this proposed rule by 30 days. The rule, which would increase the speed that birds are processed from 70-91 a minute to a maximum of 175 a minute, could put workers at  poultry plants in increased danger.

Poultry workers

The UFCW has called on USDA to halt this rule until the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts comprehensive studies on the impact it would have on the health and safety of workers in poultry plants. It will use this 30-day extension to work directly with NIOSH to determine a course of action to study the probable effects of increased line speeds on worker health and safety. This extension is a victory for all poultry workers who can rest assured that their safety on the job is being taken seriously. Members can continue to submit their comments online by visiting www.regulations.gov and referencing Docket No. FSIS-2011-0012 “Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection.”

UFCW Members Call for Closing Tax Loophole and for Giant-Carlisle to Disclose Income Taxes Paid

Members of UFCW Local 1776, along with concerned consumers and activists from the Philadelphia area, rallied on Tax Day in front the Giant Food Store in West Chester, to call on Pennsylvania’s largest supermarket chain and one of the state’s largest employers, to disclose how much they pay in state income taxes to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

UFCW Local 1776 members

Members from UFCW Local 1776 and concerned customers rallied on Tax Day in front of the Giant Food store in West Chester, Pa.

The event was part of a statewide Tax Day push for tax fairness sponsored by the Coalition for Labor Engagement and Accountable Revenue (CLEAR), an alliance of labor organizations representing over 1.1 million hard working Pennsylvanians that are united to fi ght for essential services and critical investments in Pennsylvania’s state budget and beyond.

Most of the companies evade some taxes by shifting income earned in Pennsylvania to tax-haven states like Delaware.

In February, the non-profi t Keystone Research Center sent a letter to Pennsylvania’s 1,000 largest for-profi t employers asking them to disclose how much each pays in state income taxes. The ten largest multi-state corporations doing business in the state, including Giant Food Stores did not disclose their tax statements.

Click here for more information on the Tax Day actions.