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March 28, 2017

A UFCW Makeup Artist Shows You How to Conceal and Even Out Skin Tone

Watch United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) makeup artist Jasmin Amely, show you how to conceal uneven skin without too much foundation. Jasmin works at Macy’s and is a member of RWDSU/UFCW Local 1-S.

March 24, 2017

National Nutrition Month: Eating Healthy on a Budget

We really love all the resources the USDA put together for this year’s National Nutrition Month and wanted to pass along a few of our favorite tips from their “Meeting Your MyPlate Goals on a Budget” guide (click here to download the PDF) on how to eat a balanced, healthy diet without breaking the bank.

1. Give brown rice a try as a way to incorporate more healthy grains.

At just 10 cents and 100 calories per serving, brown rice is a great choice for your wallet and your health.

Combine brown rice with vegetables for a healthy dinnerNew to whole grains? Buy the whole-grain version of the grains you already love. You can find whole grain cereal, rice, pasta, bread, crackers, tortillas, and more. To get your family used to the more wholesome taste, start by mixing them together — like half brown rice and half white rice.

Cooked whole grains like brown rice can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days or frozen for up to 6 months. Make a big batch over the weekend or whenever you have the most time. Then use with your meals all week long. Just add a small amount of water to add moisture when reheating.

Whole grains that contain fiber can keep you full for longer — so you may not need to cook or serve as much to begin with!

2. Choose lean proteins like eggs or beans.

At just 15 cents per egg, eggs are one of the most affordable sources of high-quality protein. One egg contains 6 grams of protein and varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals — all for about 70 calories. Studies suggest that healthy individuals can enjoy an egg a day without increasing blood cholesterol levels.
Eggs are one of the most affordable sources of high-quality protein

3. Looking for potassium? Think potatoes.

At about 19 cents per serving, potatoes are the largest, most affordable source of potassium in the produce department. They have even more potassium than a banana!

Potatoes are affordable and high in potassiumMost Americans are not meeting the recommended amount of potassium per day — and that’s a big deal. Potassium can help lower blood pressure and may decrease chances of kidney stones and bone loss.

4. Substitute lower fat dairy for healthier recipes

Addicted to cream cheese? Ask if your grocery store carries Neufchâtel cheese, which has about 1/3 of the fat. Non-fat plain yogurt is also versatile and can be used in a wide range of recipes. Try substituting it for mayonnaise in egg salad or in this recipe for Quick and Easy Baked Potato Salad:

QUICK AND EASY BAKED POTATO SALAD

MATERIALS

Large bowl • Measuring cups • Measuring spoons • Microwave-safe dish with lid • Mixing spoon • Sharp knife

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds red potatoes
1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
 cup minced red onion
½ cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
¼ cup snipped fresh chives
3 tablespoons real bacon bits or pieces
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley, optional

DIRECTIONS

1. Place whole potatoes (do not poke) into microwave-safe dish.

2. Cover dish. (If covering dish with plastic wrap, poke small hole in plastic).

3. Microwave on high for 10 to 12 minutes depending on strength of microwave.

4. Use oven mitts or a towel to remove dish from microwave; carefully remove cover from dish due to steam build-up and let cool.

5. Cut potatoes into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl with remaining ingredients; stir well to mix.

CHEF’S NOTES • This salad may be served right away, but is best if refrigerated for at least one hour to allow flavors to blend.

March 17, 2017

A UFCW Member, a Refugee, an American Story

Only about 10.5% of Americans claim Irish ancestry, but that doesn’t stop the rest of us from celebrating the proud history of the immigrants who came before us.

Though our national love of St.Patrick’s Day and all things Irish might be hard for outsiders to understand, the day has really become a chance to celebrate the optimism and bravery of those who left their home countries on the gamble that they could have a better life here in the US. Their stories of hardship, hard work, and hope for the future continue to be a source of pride and inspiration and have enriched the fabric of the country.

That same American spirit can be found in the stories of today’s immigrants, though the nature of jobs in the US and how we think about work has changed dramatically since the days of our grandparents.

No one knows this better than UFCW members, many of whom work in service work or in food processing— work that is difficult to outsource overseas or replace with machines. A recent New York Times feature highlights nine different workers in the new and upcoming American workforce – including UFCW Local 75 member, packing worker, and refugee, Ruhatijuru Sebatutsi.

Ruhatijuru Sebatutsi, Columbus, Ohio Source: New York Times

A Congolese refugee, Sebatutsi fled war in Congo as a teenager, spending years in a Rwandan refugee camp before coming to Ohio in 2015. He lives with his wife and eight children in Columbus, Ohio. Every day, he travels with ten of his co-workers to a small town to work each day cutting meat at the SugarCreek Packing Company, which produces pork and poultry products.

He works seven days a week, but he makes time and half on Saturdays and double on Sundays. Of his union job, he says, “I am so lucky.”

Since Sebatutsi started last November, he has opted to work every day, which he said is the best part of the job. “There’s a lot of overtime, and you can make money.” Life here is far better than life in Gihembe. “The kids can ask you for something, you cannot provide,” he said. “But here you work, you take care of your problems, you do something for yourself.”

Like generations before him, Sebatutsi sees the long hours he puts in as a sacrifice he is willing to make in order to build a better future for his family.

You can read the rest of the profiles of working men and women in the New York Times feature, “The Jobs Americans Do.”

March 16, 2017

You Don’t Need Luck To Make These Shamrock Cupcakes

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, UFCW Local 23 member and expert cake decorator Carolyn shows you how to create easy shamrock cupcakes. All you need are some basic decorating tools, icing, and food coloring!

March 10, 2017

National Nutrition Month: Making the Most of Frozen Vegetables

While fresh vegetables are wonderful and will always have their place on the table, it can be a challenge for some busy families to fit cooking fresh vegetables into their schedules. Whether frozen or fresh, less than 1 in 10 Americans eat enough vegetables, so it’s no secret most of us could use a little help to work more veggies into our diets. But learning how much fresh produce to buy can be tricky and mistakes can lead to spoilage and waste. This is where frozen vegetables can really help out the busy, budget-conscious cook.

Harvest At Their Peak

At certain times of the year, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables may be less expensive than fresh produce and may even be more nutritious. While most fresh produce has to be harvested before it is ripe so it will survive shipping and still be fresh by the time it gets to your local grocery store, many canned or frozen vegetables are harvested and preserved at their peak.

Worker with Broccoli

UFCW members processing broccoli

No Fuss, No Mess

Is the last thing you want to do when you get home from work chop up a bunch of vegetables? We’ve all been there. One advantage of using frozen vegetables is that most of the prep work is already done for you. Frozen fruits and vegetables have already been cut into bite-sized pieces and are washed and ready to eat. Plus no more 3 month old peppers slowly turning into goo at the bottom of your vegetable drawer because you haven’t had time to cook them. Win win.

Frozen multicolored peppers are ready to stir-fry

Pro-tip: Try Roasting Them

One of our favorite ways to enjoy frozen vegetables is roasting them. It’s about as quick and easy as heating up some frozen French fries, and can really help improve the texture and flavor of frozen vegetables.


Looking for a good recipe to get started? Try this great recipe for Roasted Broccoli. It’s even better with a squeeze of fresh lemon on right before you serve it.

March 8, 2017

UFCW Statement on International Women’s Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, the largest private sector union in the nation, released the following statement about International Women’s Day.

“Today we recognize the incredible contributions of hard-working women to our country. Women make up a majority of our union family, so we understand firsthand the incredible good that comes to workplaces when they have the ability to earn the same success as their male co-workers.

“We’re proud to be actively negotiating union contracts across America that bring equal pay for equal work, paid family leave and fair scheduling to UFCW members. We believe these benefits make life better for hard-working families and should be standard in every place of work. They’re also a key reason why the gender wage gap is significantly smaller in union workplaces. We invite anyone who shares our belief in equality to join our union family.”

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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

March 8, 2017

International Women’s Day: UFCW Women Stewards and Role Models

Taralyn Pike (right) poses for a photo with fellow contract action team member, John Ruiz (left), after speaking at a Fight For $15 rally in Richmond in November.

This International Women’s Day, we’d like to recognize the contributions women throughout the UFCW’s history have made to bettering their workplaces and strengthening our union family. One of the many ways women of the UFCW have found a voice and an opportunity to lead is through becoming a steward.

Union stewards are members who make the choice to step up, either by election or appointment, to make sure the contract between the union and the company is followed and that their coworkers are being treated fairly and know their rights. Stewards accompany coworkers at disciplinary meetings and represent their coworkers’ issues as equals with management.

Taralyn Pike, a UFCW Local 400 member who works at Giant, made the decision to become a steward approximately five months ago. After five years at Giant, she’d started to notice “a great deal of unhappiness” at her store. Rather than shrug it off, Taralyn decided she would do something about it.

“I wanted to put myself in a position to bring some happiness into the workplace,” Taralyn said. “Who wants to work in a place where it seems everyone’s out to get you and you don’t feel secure? But now, I feel like my store is a place where we can be happy. The manager and I work together to make sure everyone is on the same page. My team members know they have a shoulder to lean on as well as to cry on.

“As a steward,” she added, “I now have a better understanding about employee rights and how things work. And I’m a better listener than I was before.”

She didn’t stop there. When negotiations over their contract heated up with her employer, she got to work mobilizing other Giant workers in the area and letting them know what was at stake. Now she is busy speaking out in favor of raising the minimum wage in Virginia.

A resident of Arlington and the mother of nine- and 12-year old boys, Taralyn said, “Being a union member means so much. It means we are not alone. There are always people to help you; always someone you can call. And there are ways to get involved outside the store. I can testify that stepping up is always worth it.”

Thank you to all our hardworking women who are out there moving and shaking and making life better for everyone. We hope more working men and women are inspired by your example to step up and make a difference.

March 5, 2017

UFCW Members Welcome a New Addition to the Family: Linden Hills Co-Op Workers

The UFCW is pleased to welcome a new addition to our union family:  the hard-working men and women of the Linden Hills Co-op in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The passion and enthusiasm the men and women of Linden Hills Co-op feel both for their jobs and for their new union family is clear as they talk about the democratic principles they believe in in this recent article featured in Workday Minnesota:

Workers at Linden Hills Co-op won their election Thursday to form a union with the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 653. Eight-five percent of workers voted in favor of unionization in balloting conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.

“We are excited to begin the bargaining process because it is the next step in making our already amazing co-operative even more amazing. We love where we work. This is an extremely positive thing!” said Tracie Lemberg from the Health and Body Care Department.

Workers have begun circulating bargaining surveys to help the bargaining committee understand their co-workers’ priorities.

“I have been working at co-ops in the Twin Cities since I was 16. Forming a union is the best way to make sure all workers are treated fairly and have a say in creating a positive work environment. I’m proud to work at this co-op and look forward to making it an even better place,” said Emily Calhoon from the Produce Department.

Workers said they want to actively ensure good jobs and a sustainable co-op that best serves the needs of the community.

Evan Adams-Hanson, a front end floor coordinator said, “Forming a union reinforces co-op values of community throughout our store. Linden Hills Co-op can be a model for how workers and management cooperate to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability at all levels.”

When workers first started discussing forming a union, they met at each other’s houses discreetly to create a safe space to refine their goals and identify who would be most interested in organizing.

“Organizers helped provide advice and experience, but this organizing was done by us – we were making commitments to each other to have each others’ back,” said Bryce Christopherson, a grocery buyer. “For other workers who are forming their union I would advise as much transparency and outreach to your co-workers as feasible. And reach out – we are happy to help you go through the process of forming your union.”

Mark McGraw from the Scanning department said, “I feel more connected than ever to my co-workers and our store, and I’m excited to have all voices at the table as we move forward with our contract negotiations.”

Linden Hills Co-op workers were inspired by other workers who recently organized a union at the Wedge Community Co-op and Whole Foods Co-op in Minnesota and the People’s Food Co-op in Michigan.

UFCW Local 653 were excited to extend a warm welcome to the new co-op members. 

“I’ve been a meat cutter and member of UFCW Local 653 for 10 years. I look forward to welcoming the Linden Hills co-op workers as brothers and sisters in our union and fighting together to improve retail standards across the Twin Cities,” said Anthony Lanners, who works at Festival Foods in Andover.

Most of all, Linden Hills workers are eager to get to work building an even more engaged and democratic workplace that can serve as a model for the rest of the community.

“Giving all workers a voice will make employees feel more involved in improving the Co-op,” said Front End Floor Coordinator Evan Adams-Hanson.

“Cooperative principles teach us that co-ops are democratic organizations that work for the sustainable development of our communities. Unionizing Linden Hills Co-op will extend those principles within, to the workers of the co-op, who seek sustainable employment and a collective voice. I look forward to the merging of these principles and ideals that will form a stronger co-op, together,” said Produce Stocker Cassie Nouis.

Cheese buyer Hannah Glaser sees unionization as “an affirmation of mutual support between the staff and business.” Produce Stocker Brian Matson believes “the cooperation of fellow employees in a combined effort to guarantee a better workplace is at the heart of unionization, and that Linden Hills Co-op can be representative of what a community can change if they work together.”

March 3, 2017

“Put Your Best Fork Forward” This National Nutrition Month

Spring is just around and the corner, making March the perfect time of year to refocus on eating right, getting healthy, and chasing away those winter blues. We know how hard it can be to balance work with all the demands of your life and still stay focused on your nutrition, but eating healthier foods doesn’t have to be a chore. Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing tips with you to make it easier to stay excited and engaged, and help get you on track to a better you and a better life.


Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

Plan what you’re going to eat

Before you head for the grocery store, plan your meals and snacks for the week. Review recipes for what ingredients are needed. Check to see what foods you already have and make a list of what you need to buy. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, try checking what’s on sale in the produce and meat departments and look up recipes that feature those ingredients.

When you shop with a list, you will be less likely to buy extra items that are not on it.

Decide how much to make

Making a large batch by doubling a recipe is an easy way to save time in the kitchen and try to stretch your budget even further. Extra portions can be used for lunches or meals later in the week, or freeze leftovers in individual containers for future use on nights when you don’t have time to cook. Plus buying larger quantities of each ingredient can help you save money by taking advantage of cheaper bulk prices.

Shop for foods that are in season

Fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually easier to get and may be a lot less expensive. Just remember that some fresh fruits and vegetables don’t last long. Buy small amounts at a time to avoid having to throw away spoiled produce.

Try canned or frozen produce

At certain times of the year, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables may be less expensive than fresh. For canned items, choose fruit canned in 100% fruit juice and vegetables with “low sodium” or “no salt added” on the label.

Focus on nutritious, low-cost foods

Certain foods tend to be less expensive, so you can make the most of your food dollars by finding recipes that use the following ingredients: beans, peas, and lentils; sweet or white potatoes; eggs; peanut butter; canned salmon, tuna or crabmeat; grains such as oats, brown rice, barley or quinoa; and frozen or canned fruits and vegetables.

Watch portion sizes

Eating too much of even lower cost foods and beverages can add up to extra dollars and calories. Use smaller plates, bowls and glasses to help keep portions under control. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables and the other half with whole grains and lean meat, poultry, seafood or beans. This is an easy way to eat a balanced meal while controlling portions and cost. To complete the meal, add a glass of fat-free or low-fat milk or a serving of fat-free yogurt for dessert.

Make your own healthy snacks

Convenience costs money, so many snacks, even healthy ones, usually cost more when sold individually. Make your own snacks by purchasing large tubs of low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese and dividing them into one-cup containers. For trail mix, combine nuts, dried fruit and whole grain pretzels or cereal; store small portions in airtight containers. Air-popped popcorn and whole fresh fruits in season also tend to cost less compared to prepackaged items.

Cook more, eat out less

Many foods prepared at home are cheaper and more nutritious. Also, convenience foods like frozen dinners, pre-cut vegetables and instant rice or oatmeal will cost you more than if you make them from scratch. Go back to basics and find a few simple and healthy recipes that your family enjoys.

March 2, 2017

Scholarship Winner: “Stick Together and Help Each Other Succeed”

If you are continuing your education and haven’t applied yet for the 2017 UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship, get started today! Every year the UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship 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.

As part of the application, applicants submit an essay on how their lives and their community have been impacted by unions.

From now through May, we’ll be featuring excerpts from some of our past scholarship winners’ essays to help inspire you and get those creative juices flowing.

Apply online on the UFCW Charity Foundation website.   


Bradley Kaminski, Scholarship Winner

“I started work at the local Kroger four years ago at the age of fourteen. A major lesson I learned, is if one person fails, the whole team needs to work together to overcome the problem; from management to the cashier and even the courtesy clerks. Conversely, when one succeeds, the whole team celebrates the achievement. As a swimmer I learned the same lessons; many hours of practice translate into achieving my goals. Those successes also make the entire team better. The same holds true as a union member, whether one hundred years ago, last year, today or any time in the future. Union members stick together and help each other succeed.

Through my union membership, I understand the phrase “many can be one”. It has changed how I live my life. Any member of the union, from the highest ranking officer to the lowest worker, they all have to stand together in the end and work together as brothers. We must stand together in unison! As a single focused unit, if we stand together, we cannot falter.”