October, 2012

National Food Day and Newly Released Report Seek to Support Food Workers

The country’s food system is the largest employer of minimum wage workers. These workers hold positions ranging from agricultural field hands and food processing plant workers to cooks in diners and waiters in high-end restaurants. In observation of national Food Day 2012, a newly released report says that a proposal pending in U.S. Congress to raise the minimum wage could potentially help millions of workers in the food industry.

The findings from the report titled “A Dime A Day: The Impact Of The Miller/Harkin Minimum Wage Proposal On The Price Of Food” coincide and support the core values of Food Day. Food Day is a nationwide celebration and movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Food Day takes place annually on October 24 to address food issues from farm to table. Issues include labor justice for food and farm workers, health and nutrition, hunger, agricultural policy, and animal welfare.

“We rely on food system workers to bring our food to our tables – workers on farms and in food processing plants, warehouses, grocery stores, and restaurant and food service establishments,” said Joann Lo, executive director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance. “It’s a sad irony that food system workers rely on food stamps at one-and-a-half times the rate of the general workforce. Raising the minimum wage can help lift food workers, and workers in other industries, out of poverty.”

The report from the Food Labor Research Center, the Food Chain Workers Alliance, and the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC United) looks at the proposed “Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2012.” The act would represent the first increase in the non-tipped minimum wage in five years. It would also be the first increase in 21 years for workers who receive tips.  A raise in minimum wage would increase the cost of retail food for the American consumer by at most 10 cents per day while at the same time, potentially help nearly 8 million food workers and as many as 21 million workers in other industries.

“Food workers are some of the lowest-paid workers in America, and they face much higher levels of food insecurity than the rest of the U.S. workforce,” said Saru Jayaraman, director of the Food Labor Research Center. “Our report shows that raising the minimum wage would help them put food on the table while barely, if at all, impacting everyone else’s ability to put food on their tables, too.”

The bill, introduced by Representative George Miller (D-Calif.) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), calls for incremental increases of 85 cents an hour for each of the next three years to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9.80 an hour.  Similarly, this would raise the tipped minimum wage from its current $2.13 an hour to 70 percent of the full federal minimum wage.

“Raising the minimum wage at its core is about respecting and valuing work,” said Representative Miller. “No one who works hard every day and plays by the rules should live in poverty. It’s also good economic policy. Giving minimum wage workers a raise will help millions of working families make ends meet and help grow the economy.”

A Commander in Chief Versus a Panderer in Chief: UFCW Members Weigh In

At last night’s third and final presidential debate, Mitt Romney once again demonstrated that he is willing to say anything to get elected, and his shifting positions on domestic and foreign policy and willingness to lie and pander have raised questions about what he stands for and how he will govern.

Our country can’t afford to go back to the Bush/Cheney policies that proved disastrous here at home and abroad.  President Obama is the only candidate with the vision and experience to lead our country in the right direction—forward.

Here’s what UFCW members had to say following the debate:

“i think obama won this debate….he has more foreign policy knowledge than romney….i am so glad the debates are done…the people will show their choice on november 6th. obama 2012…moving forward!”


“obama is strong! vote democrat if u care about 100% of our citizens”


“gov. romney uses a thousand words to say absolutely nothing.”


“mr obama has my respect”


“4 more years obama has my vote”


Give your Trick-or-Treaters Union-Made Goodies This Year

This Halloween, make sure you are ready with a bowl full of union-made treats to give to the little goblins and ghosts who come to your door!  See the handy list of union-made candy and goodies below, provided by Union Plus.  These treats come from companies that have good jobs and that treat their employees well.  The products are made by UFCW members, members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), and the United Farm Workers of America (UFW). All union made!


Hershey Products Necco (New England Confectionery Company)
Hershey Kisses* Sweethearts
Hershey Syrups Mary Jane Peanut Butter Chews
Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar* NECCO Wafers/Necco Wafer Smoothies
Hershey Milk with Almond Bars Sky Bar
Hershey Special Dark Bars Clark Bar
Hershey Nuggets Canada Mints
Rolo Candy Cupboard
Hershey Kissables Thin Mints
Kit Kat Bars NECCO Assorted Junior Wafers
Carmello Bar Clark Junior Laydown Bag
Cadbury Fruit & Nut Bar Mary Jane Laydown Bag
Cadbury Roast Almond Bar Haviland
Cadbury Royal Dark Bar Mallow Cups
Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar Necco Peanut Butter Kisses
Jolly Ranchers
Hershey Symphony Bar with Toffee Ghiradelli Chocolates
All filled & non filled squares
Just Born non pariels
Peeps Chocolate chips
Mike & Ike
Hot Tamales Gimbals Fine Candies
Peanut Chews JellyBeans
Jelly Beans Cherry Hearts
Scotty Dogs
Jelly Belly’s Candy Company
Jelly Bellies – also made in a non-union plants in Chicago/Taiwan Nestle
Chocolate Dutch Mints Nestle Treasures
Chocolate Temptations Laffy Taffy
dimples Kathryn Beich specialty candy
Goelitz Confections Baby Ruth*
Goelitz Gummi Butterfinger*
Pet Rat Pearson’s Nips
Pet Tarantula Famous Old Time Candies (gourmet chocolates)
Sweet Temptations Nestle Crunch  Butterfinger Crisp
Candy Corn
Licorice Pearson’s Candy Co.
Malted Milk Balls Salted Nut Roll
Chocolate Coated Nuts, and Sours Nut Goodie
Sunkist Fruit Gel Slices Mint Patties
Bun Bars
American Licorice
Black & Red Vines Anabelles Candy Company
Strawberry Ropes Boston Baked Beans
Jordon Almonds
Sconza Candies Rocky Road
Jawbreakers U-Nos
Chocolate Covered Cherries Look
Chocolate Big Hunk
Kraft Yogurt Nuts & Fruit
snack products
Frito-Lay Chips Deluxe
Doritos Pecan Sandies
Rold Gold Cheez-it
Lays Potato Chips Vanilla Wafers
Nabisco Bachman
Corn Nuts Pretzels
Chips Ahoy! Jax Cheese Curls
Oreos Keystone Snacks Party Mix
Nutter Butter Cheese Curls
Vanilla Wafers Corn Chips
Graham Crackers
Orville Redenbacher