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December 15, 2017

Headed to the movies for the holidays? Save up to 24% on movie tickets with your UFCW membership

For many families, going to the movies together over the holidays is a winter tradition. Because of your UFCW membership, you are eligible to receive discounts on those movie tickets, so don’t forget to register for Union Plus to order your eTickets before you go.

Save up to 24% off at your choice of three national movie theater chains:

  • AMC Theaters — Save 22% on AMC® Green eTicket*. Order Online, Print & Redeem.
  • Regal Cinemas — Save 24% on Premiere Print-At-Home eTickets (Any Movie – Anytime) with No Expiration Date.
  • Cinemark Theaters — Save 10% on Cinemark’s Platinum e-Supersaver eTicket with No Expiration Date. Order Online, Print and Redeem.

 

>>> REGISTER/LOGIN AND START SAVING

December 12, 2017

UFCW to USDA: GAO Report Proves Poultry Industry’s Push to End Line Speed Limits Is Dangerous

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, as well as leaders of the U.S. Senate and House Agriculture Committees, that explains why a recent petition by the National Chicken Council to eliminate line speeds at poultry plants must be rejected. The letter cites last week’s report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on safety and health in the poultry industry as confirmation of the UFCW’s concerns.

An excerpt from President Perrone’s letter can be read below.

If this petition is accepted, poultry companies will be allowed to run their food processing lines as fast as they please. Allowing this to occur will put hard-working poultry workers at greater risk of being injured and consumers at greater risk of becoming ill from eating improperly inspected chicken.

Read the full letter here.

BACKGROUND

  • The GAO report confirmed that America’s meat and poultry industry is forcing workers to endure dangerous conditions, including amputation hazards, exposure to harmful chemicals, and fast-paced repetitive tasks that often lead to musculoskeletal disorders.
  • The report supported findings by Oxfam that poultry workers struggle to get adequate bathroom breaks at current line speed limits, even to the point of endangering their health.
  • Other GAO reports in 2005 and 2016 also found significant problems with safety and health in the poultry industry.
  • In addition to worker risks, countries with higher line speeds have higher rates of foodborne contamination in poultry plants.

 

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

December 12, 2017

What do latkes and geese have in common?

1.) Eating latkes during Hanukkah has ties to the seasonal slaughtering of geese

Foods cooked in oil are traditionally associated with the holiday because of the religious symbolism, but one theory for why latkes became popular at this time of year (other than being delicious) had to do with the seasonal availability of cooking oil for common people.

“Let’s examine the real history of latkes. First, the recipe was not created until the end of the 18th or early 19th century. Although potatoes were introduced to Europe in the 16th century, it took close to two hundred years before the edible tuber made its way from animal fodder to prison food, and then to sustenance for the masses, especially the poor. The real reason for latkes is explained by the traditional activity of slaughtering the geese in early December.

For three months before slaughter, geese were slowly and methodically fed at increasing intervals and quantities to fatten them to excess. In fact, it was French Jews who were most influential in the foie gras industry because of this knowledge. Goose feathers and down were used for warmth, the meat was preserved as a confit for winter consumption, and goose fat was rendered to provide cooking oil for most of the year. Even a poor person could find a potato in the field, an onion in the cellar, and some of the precious, newly-rendered goose fat to create the Hanukkah culinary story of ‘Neis gadol hayah sham’―A great miracle happened there.”

Source: “Why Do We Eat Latkes at Hanukkah?,” Tina Wasserman

2.  Applesauce vs. Sour Cream

Some people prefer the sweetness of applesauce with their latkes, while others opt for savory sour cream. But why the divide? Other than taste preferences, since latkes are traditionally served at dinnertime and often with a meaty meal like brisket, families who keep kosher wouldn’t eat their latkes with a dairy product like sour cream because you can’t have beef and dairy in the same meal.

But dairy products have also been traditionally associated with Hanukkah, hence the popularity of eating them with sour cream. In fact, early latkes weren’t made from potatoes, but were made from cheese:

Of course we associate potato latkes with Hanukkah, but in reality latkes descends from Italian pancakes that were made with ricotta cheese. The first connection between Hanukkah and pancakes was made by a rabbi in Italy named Rabbi Kalonymus ben Kalonymus (c. 1286-1328). According to The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food by Gil Marks, the Rabbi included pancakes “in a list of dishes to serve at an idealized Purim feast, as well as a poem about Hanukkah. After the Spanish expelled the Jews from Sicily in 1492, the exiles introduced their ricotta cheese pancakes, which were called cassola in Rome, to the Jews of northern Italy. Consequently, cheese pancakes, because they combined the two traditional types of foods–fried and dairy–became a natural Hanukkah dish.”

Potato latkes are a more recent Ashkenazi invention that gained popularity in Eastern Europe during the mid 1800′s. A series of crop failures in Poland and the Ukraine led to mass planting of potatoes, which were easy and cheap to grow. But before potatoes came on the scene, the latke of choice was cheese.

Source: “Discover the History of Latkes During Hanukkah,” Tori Avey

3. Brisket

Brisket makes a regular appearance on many family tables during the holiday. Brisket is kosher because it is from the front of the animal, and because of the lengthy cooking time needed to soften the cut, it makes for a perfect special occasion meal.

Source: “Briskey: The Holy Grail of Jewish Food,” Molly Yeh

4. Brisket prices have about doubled over the past decade, but there are still cheaper cuts that can be just as good if prepared correctly.

Why has brisket gotten so expensive? “You only get a couple pieces off an animal,” says Jon Viner, a UFCW member with more than 30 years of meat cutting knowledge. “And the cost of beef is up right now. I would suggest a chuck roast and cooking it slow, instead. It’s a moist cut, the next thing in line as you’re processing beef chuck.”

If you are looking for a crowd-pleasing recipe to help you prepare that chuck roast, try this French Style Braised Beef adapted from James Peterson’s “Essentials of Cooking.”

5. Union Made Hanukkah

Whether its helping customers shop for seasonal goods or making the foods we enjoy during the holidays, UFCW members are proud to be part of the traditions that are so important to our communities. Keep your eyes out for these UFCW-made products:

December 8, 2017

A Florist Explains How to Make a Holiday Topiary

Watch United Food and Commercial Workers International Union’s (UFCW) Michelle show you how to create a holiday topiary—great for holiday gatherings or as a special gift for someone you care about.

Related

December 7, 2017

GAO Report Confirms Dangers in the Poultry Industry

As Chicken Council Pushes for Fewer Regulations, Investigation Reveals Lax Enforcement of Existing Rules 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, international president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union, issued the following statement in response to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on safety and health in the poultry industry:

“The hard-working people who work in poultry plants have some of the most dangerous and physically demanding jobs in America. This report sadly confirms that many of these skilled professionals who keep our food safe are struggling to keep themselves safe at work. They have earned and deserve better. 

“The dangers endured by poultry workers that are highlighted in this report also underscore why a recent request by the National Chicken Council to increase line speeds defies common sense and is being clearly driven by greed. We urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to take this report seriously and reject that request so that poultry workers and the food we all consume can be kept safe.” 

BACKGROUND

  • This GAO report confirms the U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn’t consider worker safety when allowing new and dangerous chemicals to be used in poultry plants, and that OSHA can’t or won’t adequately protect poultry workers from injury.
  • The GAO also found a pattern of poultry companies repeatedly denying access to federal safety and health inspectors, leaving workers in at least 15 plants across the South working in potentially dangerous environments.
  • This report supports findings by Oxfam that poultry workers struggle to get adequate bathroom breaks, even to the point of endangering their health.
  • Other GAO reports in 2005 and 2016 also found significant problems with safety and health in the poultry industry.
  • In addition to worker risks, countries with higher line speeds have higher rates of foodborne contamination in poultry plants.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.  

 Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

 

December 4, 2017

UFCW members make the holidays happen

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! For the hardworking men and women in our union family, it’s also a super busy time.

They’re serving customers and families in their communities–not just in grocery stores but across all our industries–to make the holidays happen.

Are you a member making the holidays happen? Share with us on our Facebook page.

UFCW members make the holidays happen

November 28, 2017

Giving back this holiday season

With the relationships UFCW members build with customers in our stores, we see first hand the difficult decisions many in our communities are forced to make every day in order to provide for their loved ones. That’s one reason we’re eager to help those in our communities in need — because no one should have to struggle alone, especially during the holiday season.

From hosting “giving trees” to organizing food drives, UFCW locals all across the country are kicking into high gear to help make the holidays a little brighter for the folks who could use a little extra support.

In the northeast, UFCW Local 1500 is doing a Toy Drive for the John Theissen Children’s Foundation. Since 1992, the foundation has collected over 920,000 new toys and have donated them to sick and underprivileged children in hospitals and child-care facilities.

Local 152 does an annual Teddy Bear Drive to collect stuffed animals for Santa to give away at the holiday dinner dance for ARC of Burlington County, which provides a variety of disability services including adult day care and in home supportive services.

Earlier this month, RWDSU/UFCW Local 338  delivered 200 turkeys donated by Local 338 members to several food pantries and charitable organizations throughout New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County as part of the union’s annual “Turkey Drive.”

Local 338 members weren’t the only ones out making sure everyone could have a nice holiday feast. On the other side of the country, Local 1428 members in California held a turkey giveaway over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Are you a UFCW member with a story of how union members in your area are giving back? Drop us a line at submissions@ufcw.org or send us your story on our Facebook page and let us know how you are making a difference.

 

 

November 22, 2017

Top turkey tips from yesterday’s Reddit “IamA butcher, AMA” with UFCW member Jon Viner

Jon VinerYesterday, the UFCW’s own Jon Viner, star of one of our recent “How To” videos, took to Reddit to help answer everyone’s meat questions and quandaries.

We’re really proud of Jon and congratulate him on how well the AMA went, and beyond being able to puff up our feathers a bit and brag about how talented our members are, we wanted to share a Thanksgiving round up for those of you who are not on Reddit because this stuff is too good to miss.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Reddit AMAs, they stand for “Ask Me Anything.” They are sort of like an online press conference where anyone can post and ask questions and have them answered real time.

Here’s a few of the best Thanksgiving-related questions posted during the live session:

1. How much turkey should you get per person?

2. What’s better, fresh or frozen?

3. How far behind am I in defrosting my turkey?

4. How long is too long for brining a turkey?

5. What if I’m just cooking a turkey breast?

6. Should I trust the pop up timer?

7. What’s the best part of the bird?

Thanks again, Jon, for sharing your knowledge and experience to help us all pull off a delicious, well-cooked Thanksgiving! If you haven’t seen Jon’s video on how to carve that turkey, check it out:

November 20, 2017

A Butcher Shows You How To Carve A Turkey

Watch UFCW member and professional butcher Jon Viner show you how to carve the perfect holiday turkey.

Related

November 19, 2017

2017 UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship Winners Announced

Every year the UFCW scholarship program offers scholarships to UFCW members or their immediate family members who want to further their education and demonstrate a commitment to their communities and to UFCW values.  Since 1958, the fund has distributed more than $2 million in scholarships.*

Past winners have gone on to make significant contributions to society and to the UFCW – entering a range of fields including public service, medicine, law, business and teaching.  Many have returned to the UFCW as staffers, organizers, and community activists who contribute to our mission.

*UFCW-employed officers and staff, and their immediate families are not eligible for this program.

Here are this year’s winners:

Region 1:

JuliAnna Picardi
Local 328

Region 2:

Melissa Quintero Segura
Local 1208

Region 4:

Rebecca Price
Local 227

Region 5:

Alison Martin
Local 1995

Region 6:

Ellyse Kealy
Local 881

Region 7:

Matthew Moore
Local 555

Region 8:

Chelsea Diaz
Local 1428

Canada:

Michael Piaseczny
Local 175