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SCOTUS Ruling on DACA and DAPA: Justice Delayed Once Again for Immigrant Workers

Court ruling on anti-immigrant lawsuit points to the need for comprehensive immigration reform, says Union President

ScotusDAPA_0122Washington, D.C. – As the Supreme Court suspends President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), America’s largest private sector labor union, released the following statement:

“Immigrant workers are by far the most likely group to face gross exploitation on the job and we all know that when one worksite is dangerous, the standards for working people everywhere get worse,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “Today’s decision means thousands of hard-working men and women will have to continue living inside a broken immigration system that forces them all towards an uncertain future.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling maintains the legal standoff that has kept the administration from implementing a deferred action program that would allow certain undocumented Americans to apply for work authorization and protection from deportation. These executive actions, however limited, would have provided immigration relief for over five million undocumented workers.

BACKGROUND:

  • Through the Union Citizenship Action Network (UCAN), the UFCW provides union members and staff the critical tools needed to go through the naturalization process and become U.S. citizens and to navigate deferred action immigration programs.
  • Over 630 UFCW members have become U.S. citizens, saving them over $1.3 million in fees related to the naturalization process.
  • Over 60 UFCW members have become DACA recipients and over 40 members have received other immigration assistance.
  • The UFCW has trained over 1,000 volunteers, including UFCW members, local union staff, community volunteers, school teachers, and members of other unions on the requirements for naturalization and deferred action immigration programs.

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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 www.ufcw.org

Local 135 Helps Pass Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Leave Law in San Diego

MickeyInChambers (2)

On June 8, San Diego passed legislation that will immediately increase the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour, and then to $11.50 an hour in January. This bill also provides five days of annual paid sick leave. Members of UFCW Local 135 played an important role in the fight for this legislation, which will help hard-working men, women and their families in the San Diego area and improve public health.

This legislation immediately gives a boost to 170,000 workers in the city of San Diego, where many minimum wage employees work two or more jobs to make ends meet.

This new minimum wage increase was a long time coming. Back in 2014, the San Diego City Council voted in favor of raising the minimum wage. However, shortly thereafter, the mayor vetoed it, the city council overrode it and the San Diego Chamber of Commerce stepped in with petitions for a ballot initiative, which halted raises for the working poor for more than two years.

UFCW Local 135 President Mickey Kasparian spoke before the San Diego City Council in favor of raising the minimum wage, and UFCW Local 135 staff phone banked and knocked on doors to get the ballot initiative passed. This victory is the result of an effort, by a diverse coalition led by RaiseUp San Diego, to ensure that no one who works full-time in San Diego is forced to live in poverty.

“The historic passage of an increase in minimum wage and earned sick days for San Diego workers signals a clear turning of the tide in San Diego,” said UFCW Local 135 President Mickey Kasparian. “In the end, a million dollar campaign from out-of-town hotel and restaurant lobbyists and a veto from Mayor Faulconer could not stop San Diegans from voting their conscience. Hopefully, this will alleviate the struggles for workers who make tough decisions like whether to pay the rent or put food on the table.”

Local 400 Members Ratify New Contract with Kroger

Kroger workers at Local 400(2) Kroger workers at Local 400

On June 8, more than 800 members of UFCW Local 400 who work at Kroger voted to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement.

The new four-year contract includes higher starting pay, raises for department heads and full-time and part-time clerks, four personal holidays (one per year), retiree healthcare extended to June 2017, and maintained healthcare benefits.

A few weeks before the contract was ratified, 1,100 members voted unanimously to reject Kroger’s proposal and authorize a strike at 41 stores in the region. Shortly after the vote, Kroger reopened negotiations with an improved offer.

“We sent a clear message to the company that we were willing to fight for a better deal,” said Mark Federici, president of UFCW Local 400. “It wasn’t until we all stood together and voted unanimously to authorize a strike that Kroger decided to make a better offer. It’s not everything we wanted, but it was an improvement. And one thing is certain – it’s more than what Kroger wanted to do before we showed them we are willing to stand up for ourselves.”