“Give Back Friday” is First in Series of Holiday Actions to Help Support Workers

Give Back FridayYesterday, the UFCW and Making Change at Walmart officially released a series of holiday actions against Walmart, beginning with a call to action during the week leading up to Black Friday called the “Give Back Friday” initiative.

Give Back Friday is all about helping the hundreds of thousands of hard-working Walmart employees who are paid so poorly that they must rely on assistance from food banks and use food stamps. During this entire Black Friday week, Making Change at Walmart, our progressive partners, and countless other organizations will be hosting food drives in cities across the country the week leading up to Black Friday with a goal to feed 100,000 Walmart workers and families though the holidays.

Locals Unions are asked to share and sign the pledge to donate to a food drive or a food bank in their area. By working together, we can help Walmart workers and their families.


Help us feed 100,000 Walmart workers and families and make sure to post about it using the hashtag #GiveBackFriday and #feedhungryworkers.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of over 100,000 families because no one in America, especially the men and women who work for one of the richest companies in the world, should have go to hungry this Thanksgiving and through the holidays.

Member Spotlight: Peter Hoffman, Stop & Shop

Peter Hoffman

Originally posted by Local 1500

It’s not easy to be the first person to arrive at our Union’s General Membership Meeting.  It’s even more difficult to arrive eager, excited and alert after riding a bike through the rain for a few miles.  But rain or any negativity has never stopped Peter Hoffman, and won’t stop him from riding to any meeting, regardless how hard the commute may be.  Peter Hoffman is one of the most dedicated, positive union members in UFCW Local 1500.

“I started out with Local 1500 in 1998,” Hoffman explained, “Ever since then, I’ve been dedicated to the union, seeing how much they care and how much they help workers.”  Peter currently works in the Front End at Stop & Shop 516, where he is always talking up the importance of going to union meetings, sticking together and being positive to his coworkers.  “My favorite thing about being in a union is being involved with others, and having a place to explain and talk about work issues,” Hoffman explained, “There’s never a right or wrong answer at union meetings, you can say what’s on your mind.”

Peter lives with resounding positivity and pushes solidarity amongst all of his coworkers.  “If everyone can stick together we can do amazing things.  When people think differently about the union than I do, I tell them why I like the union so much, I’ve been around for a while, I know and have seen people get in trouble, and the union is the only one there to help you,” Hoffman said.   He also enjoys raising funds and awareness for various charities like Making Strides Against Breast Cancer or the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

Peter genuinely enjoys helping customers at work, and talking to them about his union. “The best thing I’ve learned in life is to never say never, and don’t give up your belief in yourself.  That’s the most important thing in life,” Hoffman said.

Victory at Wedge Co-Op in Minneapolis

20151118_171802Last Monday, workers at Wedge Community Co-op in Minneapolis voted to form a union with UFCW Local 1189, making it the first co-op grocery in the Twin Cities area, home to many co-ops, to unionize.

The Wedge employees began their union drive last December, because they wanted to unionize in order to make their jobs sustainable and mirror the values at their workplace, which promotes a sustainable food system. The co-op’s management had already complied with a neutrality agreement they’d signed with unionized warehouse workers. “It was really a worker-driven thing,” Local 1189 Organizing Director Abraham Wangnoo said of the recent victory. “You could just see the excitement in a lot of the people who’d been part of this whole thing.” He added that the workers wanted to be able to “maintain a voice on the job and a sense of control and leadership in the operation of the co-op.”

Once the results of the election are certified by the National Labor Relations Board, the the 136 grocery workers will be part of the UFCW union family

A union drive at the Wedge Table, a cafe and market in the area that is also owned by the Wedge, is still ongoing.