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    UFCW Blog

January 29, 2013

Joe Hansen Weighs in on President Obama’s Immigration Speech

LAS VEGAS, NV — Joe Hansen, International President of the UFCW, today released the following statement after attending President Obama’s immigration speech in Las Vegas.

“I agree with President Obama—the time to reform our broken immigration system is now. The plan unveiled yesterday by a bipartisan group of Senators is a good start and they should get to work right away drafting legislation. The UFCW strongly supports comprehensive immigration reform that treats all immigrants with respect and dignity and creates a modern, 21st century system that reflects our values. Reform should include a roadmap to citizenship for those already here, an effective mechanism for determining employment eligibility, smart and humane border enforcement, and a fair process for allocating employment based visas. This issue is personal for UFCW members. Many watched in horror during the 2006 ICE raids as hundreds of documented and undocumented workers were detained and harassed just for doing their jobs. Our nation is better than that. We must be a land of opportunity for all those who work hard in pursuit of the American Dream. Passing comprehensive immigration reform will allow us to do that.”

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The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org, or join our online community at www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational and www.twitter.com/ufcw.

January 8, 2013

Pinnacle Foods Workers in Fort Madison Authorize Strike to Protest Company’s Plan to Eliminate Pensions

FORT MADISON, IOWA – Over 400 Pinnacle Foods Workers in Fort Madison who are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) voted on Sunday, January 6 to authorize a strike to protest the company’s plan to eliminate their pension plan.  The Pinnacle Foods plant in Fort Madison manufactures canned food products, including Vienna sausages, Armour brand corned beef hash, beef stew and chili.

“In a volatile financial environment, Pinnacle Foods workers in Fort Madison are simply trying to protect middle class jobs and their retirement benefits after working hard to make their company profitable,” said UFCW Local 617 President Darin Boatman.  “I hope this strike vote sends a strong message to the company and moves the negotiation process to a successful conclusion.”

Defined benefit pension plans are the most secure retirement system for workers.  While many workers are forced to rely on less secure investments, like 401 (k) plans, or have no retirement at all, many UFCW members have retirement security through their pension benefits that provide for a monthly payment for their lifetime after they retire.

Pinnacle Foods, Inc. is backed by the Blackstone Group L.P., a private equity firm, and posted net sales of $2.5 billion in the 2011 fiscal year.

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The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, http://www.ufcw.org/, or join our online community at http://www.facebook.com/ufcwinternational and https://twitter.com/UFCW