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April 18, 2018

UFCW Statement on Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), released the following statement regarding the Farm Bill being passed out of the House Agriculture Committee. This bill currently limits access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps).

“This Farm Bill is bad for America and hard-working families. It needlessly denies large numbers of people access to affordable food and should be opposed by any elected leader who truly cares about making our country a better place to live. 

“A majority of adults on SNAP already work hard every day. Creating stricter work requirements is simply cover for installing cuts that will seriously harm hard-working families and the places they live. 

“From the food processing plant, to the distribution center, to the checkout lane at the grocery store, SNAP consistently creates sustainable jobs in every community. The changes proposed to it in this bill directly threaten our economy and good jobs across America. 

“We urge members of Congress to do what is right and vote against any Farm Bill that would make it harder for Americans to work and feed themselves and their families.” 

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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.

April 16, 2018

A packinghouse worker’s account of MLK and the 1968 sanitation strike

Anna Mae Weems, a member of the United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA), one of the unions that would later merge to become the UFCW, shared her memories of working with Dr.Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) on the 1968 Sanitation Workers’ Strike in the following article that appeared in The Courier. 

The UPWA had long been a strong supporter of the SCLC. In addition to continually organizing conferences and legislative actions in support of equal rights for women and minorities, the UPWA donated 80 percent of the cost of SCLC’s first year budget and held regular drives to raise money for sit ins and freedom rides. When Memphis sanitation workers called on labor allies for help, Weems and other UPWA members heard the call.

Photo by BRANDON POLLOCK, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

WATERLOO – It was early 1968. A charismatic minister Anna Mae Weems had hosted on a visit to Waterloo nine years earlier and his organization needed help. She answered the call.

Weems, who had been active with the United Packinghouse Workers of America at The Rath Packing Co., and other labor leaders were called to Memphis, Tenn.

Unionized municipal sanitation workers, predominantly African-Americans, were on strike for better pay and working conditions. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was called in to help. Other labor organizations also were called in.

That’s what brought Anna Mae Weems to Memphis for what would be her last meeting with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., SCLC leader.

“We marched down Beale Street and around City Hall,” Weems recalled. Through it all, King maintained a humble persona. “He was a common person. It wasn’t like I was sitting with a celebrity. He was like someone you knew all your life. He was for the good of the community all the time.”

Weeks later, on April 4, 1968, King was killed by an assassin’s bullet on a Memphis hotel balcony. Weems, home in Waterloo, reacted as many, with shock and horror.

The 50th anniversary of King’s assassination makes this Martin Luther King Day particularly poignant for many, including Weems. She escorted King around Waterloo in November 1959 as the young minister was starting to make a name for himself with civil rights activities in Montgomery, Ala. He met community leaders, spoke at West High School and at Iowa State Teachers College, now the University of Northern Iowa.

Fifty years removed from the tragedy of his passing, Weems said King’s death reminds us leadership is not for the squeamish but is still needed today on issues of justice and equality.

“He would want us to build on leadership,” Weems, 91, said. “ If you get good leadership in a community and you get that motivation and you get that influence, then you would have a community that’s unified. … You see, leadership is not for cowards. You have to know how to bring out the best in people.”

She supported King on some marches activities in the South.

“Some people would throw things, and he would say ‘Louder, children. Louder. They’re not hearing us.’ He would say things that are uplifting, not downtrodding.”

Weems said she and others were called to a meeting at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, now the home of the National Civil Rights Museum. It was where King frequently held meetings and was ultimately assassinated. A fellow Rath-UPWA member from Waterloo, Russell Lasley, became national treasurer of the UWPA, which supported the SCLC.

“We were called down there to help the garbage workers,” Weems said. “I was volunteering all around,” working under King’s friend and SCLC associate, the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy.

King sought conciliation, not confrontation, through organizational efforts, Weems said.

“Dr. King always had that saying that you should inspire, not intimidate. People would say things are real bad. Dr. King would say, ‘There’s no such thing as an unmotivated person.’ A leader should go in, work with a person and stir up the energy God gave him. … Bosses drive men. Leaders motivate.”

Weems first met King in Washington, D.C., in the late 1950s. He gave the invocation at a breakfast hosted by then-Vice President Richard Nixon. She invited King to Waterloo.

While some locally initially were standoffish to the young minister, Weems said others, such as the Rt. Rev. Monsignor E.J. O’Hagan, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, welcomed him with open arms. Burton Field of Palace Clothiers fitted the young minister with a heavier suit of clothes for the chilly November Iowa climate. He stayed at the Russell-Lamson Hotel.

After his talk at West High, Weems recalled, King stood behind the auditorium curtain, buoyantly asking, “Did I do all right?”

“He was intoxicated with love for his fellow man,” Weems said.

She learned of King’s assassination when called by a Courier reporter. “It was such a shock,” she said. She hushed her children and called the UPWA union hall to verify it. The secretary was in tears.

She later told The Courier, “Dr. King taught us that violence is not the answer; it only creates fear. The wound of racial injustice can only be healed by the peaceful balm of religion and morality. We must — and we shall — try to fill the void and move forward with brotherly love.”

The Rev.Martin Luther King Jr. and Anna Mae Weems are shown here during King’s visit to Waterloo in 1959. Photo from The Courier.

 

April 16, 2018

A UFCW Retiree Recalls How She Typed Her Way Into History

 

“I had never made a speech before,” Blair said. “But I knew I had to say something.”

Fifty years ago, Bonnie Blair worked as a secretary at the Retail Clerks International Union in Memphis, Tennessee, which is now UFCW Local 1529. Her job ranged from typing bylaws to billing and bookkeeping for the local.

On February 1, 1968, two Memphis garbage collectors, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, were crushed to death by a malfunctioning garbage truck. This tragedy was a tipping point for sanitation workers in Memphis, where black garbage haulers were prohibited from riding with the white drivers—forcing them to ride in back with the trash. Henry Loeb, who was mayor of Memphis at the time, refused to pay the workers a fair wage.

A few days after the tragedy, the sanitation workers, including garbage-collector-turned-union-organizer T. O. Jones, demanded the right to join a AFSCME Local 1733 for better wages and working conditions. Jones and the workers asked if someone from the Retail Clerks International Union could help type letters to Mayor Loeb from 33 men, asking him to meet with the workers and recognize their union. Blair agreed to help the workers.

Blair worked with T. O. Jones and typed each of the 33 letters on an IBM electric typewriter, and made carbon copies of each letter. When every man had signed their names, Jones delivered the letters to Mayor Loeb’s office. The mayor’s refusal to meet with the workers sparked the famous “I Am a Man” strike.

Blair continued to type the correspondence for the workers during the strike. Once night, she drove to a union hall, where hundreds of the sanitation workers were meeting, to deliver the material she had typed to Jones. When she got there, Jones asked her to speak to the crowd.

“I had never made a speech before,” Blair said. “But I knew I had to say something.”

She went to the stage and addressed the workers. “Don’t give up,” she said. “Don’t be discouraged. You have every right to be here and have a contract. God is on your side.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came to Memphis on March 18 in support of the strike, which had attracted thousands of supporters. Blair and her husband joined the rally. Dr. King returned to Memphis to help the workers on April 3, and gave his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. He was killed the next day. The Sanitation Workers Strike ended on April 16 with a first union contract for the workers that included wage increases.

Blair has remained activist for social and economic justice, and attended the I AM 2018 Conference in Memphis this month, which marked the 50th anniversary of the Sanitation Workers Strike and Dr.  King’s death. She has advice for young activists who continue to fight for positive change 50 years later.

“Serve God where you are and do the right thing,” she said.

April 12, 2018

UFCW Endorses Poor People’s Campaign Revival

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), one of the largest private sector unions in America, endorsed the revival of The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

Founded by Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Rev. Liz Theoharis, the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary, and hundreds of local and national grassroots groups, this campaign is uniting tens of thousands of people across the country to challenge systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation, and the nation’s distorted morality.

Marc Perrone, president of the UFCW International, released the following statement regarding the endorsement:

“The Poor People’s Campaign believes, as our union family does, that our economy can and should work better for everyone.

“Telling the millions of people who are struggling alone, to work harder, complain less, or pray more won’t work.  

“Wage inequality, the assault on voting rights, underemployment, and the attacks on immigrant and refugee communities are all part of a systemic effort to disenfranchise poor communities.

“We’re proud to support The Poor People’s Campaign because, if successful, it will bring hard-working families more power to build better lives.”

On Tuesday, April 10, 2019, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) released The Souls of Poor Folk, an audit of America 50 years after Dr. King and many others launched the original Poor People’s Campaign to challenge racism, poverty, and a host of other intersected issues.

The report, which was presented at the National Press Club by IPS with support from the Urban Institute, shows that, in many ways, we are worse off than in 1968. Legislative actions and legal decisions have gutted the Voting Rights Act and severely restricted the ability of people of color, women, and young people to vote. There are 15 million more people living in poverty and nearly eight times as many inmates in state and federal prisons.

MORE ABOUT THE POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN:

 

Over the last few months, the Revs. Barber and Theoharis have traveled across the country, shining a spotlight on both America’s harsh, persistent poverty and the powerful organizers working to combat it. They’ve visited Lowndes County, Ala.; Detroit and Highland Park, Mich.Marks, Miss.Harlan County, Kent.; and South Charleston, W. Va. 

The trips have also helped prepare organizers in the states for the upcoming 40 days of action, which will conclude with a mass mobilization at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, June 23.

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The UFCW is one of the largest private sector unions 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.

 

April 11, 2018

UFCW Member Spotlight: Joe Pacacha

For over 40 years, Joseph Pacacha has been going in to work at Riverbed Foods in Pittsburgh, PA where he helps process  quality store-branded soups, broths, gravies, and sauces for some of the nation’s top grocery chains. But when he’s not on the clock, Pacacha, like so many other unsung every day working men and women, spends his free time volunteering to make his community a better place.

Pacacha restores old bamboo fly fishing rods and donates them to Project Healing Waters, an organization that is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.

“It’s very rewarding. I’m just proud to be a part of it, really,” said Pacacha. “I may never see the people who get these rods, but just knowing that you’re helping out, it’s very worthwhile.”

How you can help

If you’ve got an old bamboo fly rod, serviceable as is or in need of repair, that you would like to donate to Project Healing Waters, you can send it to Joe Pacacha at PO Box 38, 536 Walnut Ave., Hunker PA 15639. For information on making monetary donations to Project Healing Waters, visit www.projecthealingwaters.org . Contributions specifically for the bamboo rod project should be identified as such on your check.


Are you or do you know a UFCW member who is doing great things in your community? Tell us about it at submissions@ufcw.org.

 

April 6, 2018

April 10th is Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day is recognized on different days depending on the year and the country because it symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

Another way of looking at it is that if men and women both started working January 1, 2017, then men got to stop working December 31 and the women have been working since then for free. That’s because women made 22% less on average in 2017 than men. The gap only gets wider when you also take race and ethnicity into consideration.

According to the Economic Policy Institute:

“While April 10th is the overall Equal Pay Day, the gaps for women of color are even larger. As compared to white men, women of color have to work even further into 2018 to make up for the wage deficit they experienced in 2017. Black women’s equal pay day is August 7th, Native American women’s equal pay day is September 27th, and Latina equal pay day doesn’t come until November 1st, almost an entire second year of working to equal typical white male wages in 2017.”

The good news is that even though all the factors that contribute to women earning less than men are complicated, simply belonging to union and having the support that comes from being part of a union family goes a long way in evening out the wage gap. Unions raise wages in women-dominated service occupations (which include food service and janitorial services). Union women working in those industries make 87% more in total compensation and 56% more in wages than their nonunion counterparts. And overall, hourly wages for union women are 9% higher on average than for nonunionized women.

Peace of Mind

“There are probably Federal Laws that protect non-union workers but having such language in your contract makes it easier. I know my union will fight for me,” says Jennifer Rios. “Under a union contract, depending on your job classification, we’re all paid the same. We all move through the same progression steps. With the guaranteed wage increases, I’m able to do a little extra for my family, such as planning a family outing bowling.”

“The guaranteed wage increase helped me and my family a lot,” echoes Local 338 member Evony, who works at Duane Reade in New York. “It’s helped me pay my bills and doing more for my kids. Unlike non-union workers, we know we’re getting our set raise.”

Crystal Quarles worked at a teacher for nearly 15 years and made $8/ an hour with no health insurance. When she started at Kroger in 2014, she joined the UFCW Local 700 without hesitation. Because of her 6 month wage increases she is now at her top rate of pay. As a single mom, she is very glad to have a contract where women are paid the same amount as men for the same work.

Equal Opportunity

Being paid different amounts for the same level of work isn’t the only thing that keeps women stuck earning less. Sometimes, it’s lack of access to higher paid positions. There again unions help ensure equal access to opportunities for advancement for all workers.

In March of 2014 Marlenny Solaris, a UFCW Local 342 member, heard there may be a job opening she could bid on at the nursing home where she worked.  This Porter job was typically performed by men in the Porter classification, and she was told by the Supervisor that it was not a woman’s job. When the Home did not put the posting up, Solaris bid on another job and got it. Only after she received her new position did her supervisor post the full-time Porter classification job Solaris had originally expressed interest in.

Local 342 Representatives backed Solaris when she again applied for the now posted Porter position and then she got it.  This paved the way for more women who have since taken jobs at the nursing home as Porters. Her situation also shows how the ways in which women can be prevented from having access to higher-paid positions can be complicated, because without a union there to represent her, there’s little chance Solaris would have been able to even apply for the position she was qualified for and had expressed an interest in.

Training

Union membership also helps provide training to help level the playing field for hardworking men and women, regardless of gender.

“I didn’t have to take out a student loan to become a pharmacy Technician,” says Margarita Alejandro, a UFCW Local 1428 member who works at CVS in California. “Thanks to my union contract I’m able to get on the job training from my clerk position to technician and to make more money and provide for my family.”

 

April 5, 2018

Tyson Foods, UFCW Expand Workplace Safety Efforts

Company, union collaboration called a model for the food industry

Dakota Dunes, S.D. — April 5, 2018 — Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) are expanding their collaborative efforts to make workplace safety improvements at the company’s food processing plants and commemorating 30 years of working together for safer workplaces.

The three decades-long partnership is one union leaders call a model for the food industry. It began in 1988, with the launch of a landmark ergonomics program and has evolved to include improvements that have helped reduce workplace injuries and illnesses. While the primary focus has been Tyson Foods’ beef and pork operations, it is now being expanded to the company’s poultry business, which has been accelerating its workplace safety efforts in recent years.

“We’re proud of the progress we’ve made through our collaboration with the UFCW, and especially the active involvement of frontline team members,” said Steve Stouffer, president of Tyson Fresh Meats. “We know that all of us must remain diligent if we’re to achieve additional improvements.”

“We value the progress we’ve made at Tyson and are looking forward to expanding our partnership to create safer workplaces for all of their hard-working men and women,” said Mark Lauritsen, director of the UFCW’s Food Processing, Packing and Manufacturing Division. “Working together with Tyson has meant empowering workers and their union to make a better, safer workplace.”

Examples of the company’s and union’s collaborative efforts include:

  • Plant safety audits by management and union representatives
  • Ergonomics and safety committees that enable frontline workers and their union to regularly meet with plant management on safety matters
  • Empowering frontline workers to stop the production line if a safety or ergonomics issue is detected
  • Project “Why Not,” which encourages management and frontline workers and their union to re-evaluate job functions for ergonomic improvement
  • Full-time safety and ergonomic “captains” responsible for day-to-day safety and ergonomic monitoring
  • “Captains of the Week,” who are workers allowed to leave the production line for one hour every day for a week to gain in depth exposure to safety and ergonomics programs

“We’ve worked hard over the years to create a culture where everyone is comfortable to speak up about safety issues,” said Sherry Louk, a nine-year Tyson Foods veteran and safety captain at the plant in Perry, Iowa. “Because we all want the safest workplace possible, there is an environment of empowerment where we can be honest about safety concerns and fix them before somebody gets hurt. At Tyson, I can say ‘I’ve got your back’ because the company and the union have mine.”

The next step in the company-union relationship is increased focus on the company’s poultry plants, where the UFCW represents workers at 12 locations.

“We value our frontline team members who are crucial to the continued success of our poultry businesses,” said Doug Ramsey, group president of poultry, Tyson Foods. “While we have existing programs to help train and protect our people and give them a voice in the workplace, we look forward to working more closely with the UFCW on additional ways we can improve.”

The UFCW currently represents more than 24,000 people employed by Tyson Foods or its subsidiaries. 


About Tyson Foods 

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. Founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson and grown under three generations of family leadership, the company has a broad portfolio of products and brands like Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Ball  Park®, Wright®, Aidells®, ibp® and State Fair®. Tyson Foods innovates continually to make protein more sustainable, tailor food for everywhere it’s available and raise the world’s expectations for how much good food can do. Headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, the company has 122,000 team members. Through its Core Values, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity, create value for its shareholders, customers, communities and team members and serve as a steward of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it. Visit TYSONFOODS.COM. 

About the UFCW

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.

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April 4, 2018

Tax tips and discounts for UFCW members

Did you know your UFCW membership gives you access to a number of money saving coupons and discounts? Right now, UFCW members can save up to $20 on TurboTax Federal Products or 15% off at TaxACT.

To receive discounts, register for an account and then log in to view not only savings on tax preparation, but also child care, groceries, car rental, and much more!

Register for Discounts

Tax Tips


File early to prevent identity thieves from claiming your refund

If you are the victim of identity theft, waiting until the last minute to file your taxes leaves more time for those who have stolen your identity to claim your refund. Though identity theft on tax returns has been falling in recent years thanks to improved security measures, the threat is still out there and the IRS still encourages filing early. “We tell taxpayers to file as early as they can,” says Cecilia Barreda, IRS spokeswoman, “but not without the supporting forms they need to file an accurate return.”

Confused about the new tax law?

You’re not alone. The new law eliminates numerous tax breaks for 2018 and beyond, but you can still write off those deductions on your 2017 tax forms. One major change from the new law that does affect 2017 returns: You can write off more in unreimbursed medical expenses than the prior law allowed.

File early and research payment options

If you owe money to the IRS, it’s still a good idea to prepare and file your tax return early, though you don’t have to make the payment until the tax deadline.

Knowing the amount you owe before the deadline gives you more time to plan how you’ll pay. You can pay by credit card, but you’ll get hit with a service fee of as much as 1.99 percent of your tax liability. If you pay by debit card, you’ll owe a flat fee, which ranges from $2.58 to $3.95.

On the IRS website, you can find the agency’s list of accepted services that process tax payments by credit or debit card.

UFCW Membership is Tax Deductible

Your membership contributions to the UFCW are tax deductible. The IRS categorizes “union dues” and “initiation fees” under miscellaneous itemized deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 21.

What’s Nondeductible?

Be careful not to confuse your pension contributions with your membership, because pension contributions are not tax deductible. Also, if you have chosen to be an Active Ballot Club (ABC) member, those donations are separate from your membership and go to a special fund for the UFCW’s political advocacy and to passing pro-worker legislation. Not all UFCW members choose to donate to ABC. Those kinds of political activities are not considered tax deductible by the IRS, unlike other non-political donations to charities the UFCW supports like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or Faces of Our Children.

The 2% Rule

You can only deduct the amount of combined miscellaneous expenses that exceeds 2% of your adjusted gross income  (AGI). That means if you want to deduct your dues, you probably need to take a look at any other miscellaneous expenses you might have. A good first place to look is if you had any work-related expenses in 2016 that were not reimbursed by your employer.

Miscellaneous expenses that might count towards the 2% rule include:

  • Job search expenses, even if you didn’t necessarily get the job.
  • Work Clothes and Uniforms.
    You can deduct the cost and upkeep of work clothes if the following two requirements are met:

    • You must wear them as a condition of your employment.
    • The clothes aren’t suitable for everyday wear.
  • Protective clothing.
    You can deduct the cost of protective clothing required in your work, such as safety shoes or boots, safety glasses, hard hats, and work gloves.
  • Repayment of Income Aid Payment
    An “income aid payment” is one that is received under an employer’s plan to aid employees who lose their jobs because of lack of work. If you repay a lump-sum income aid payment that you received and included in income in an earlier year, you can deduct the repayment.
  • Tools Used in Your Work
    Generally, you can deduct amounts you spend for tools used in your work if the tools wear out and are thrown away within 1 year from the date of purchase. You can depreciate the cost of tools that have a useful life substantially beyond the tax year. For more information about depreciation, see IRS Publication 946.
  • Tax Preparation Fees that you paid during 2016, even it they were for an earlier tax year.

You can find a full list of eligible miscellaneous itemized deductions in IRS Publication 529 on the IRS website.

Example:

For example, if your adjusted gross income in 2016 was $40,000 and your combined miscellaneous expenses totaled $1,300, you can deduct $500 of that, because the other $800 equals 2% of $40,000.

Take Full Advantage of Credits and Tax Breaks

Did you know that only about 20% of those who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit actual claim it? That’s a big deal given that it can be worth up to $6,242 for those who qualify.  Check out this list from CNBC of the ten most popular tax credits to see if there’s one you may qualify for.

And don’t forget if you have already filed your taxes and forgot to take deductions or credits you should have, you can still file an amendment as long as it’s within  the past three years.

April 3, 2018

You or someone in your family headed to college? Apply for the UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship

Looking to further your education? There is still time to apply for the UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship.

Every year the UFCW Charity Foundation 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.

Apply Now >>>

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

March 29, 2018

18 regional hot dogs to enjoy on opening day

Today marks the start of baseball season! Hard-working UFCW members across the country produce and package a lot of the hot dogs people will chow down on while watching America’s favorite pastime -including the famous Dodger Dog, made by UFCW 770 members. But while baseball and hot dogs might be a national past time, how you like to top your dog can say a lot about where you live.

Here’s some of the most popular regional hot dogs, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council:

1.) New York City

New Yorkers eat more hot dogs than any other group in the country. From downtown Manhattan to Coney Island, when you buy your hot dog in the Big Apple, it will come served with steamed onions and a pale, deli-style yellow mustard.


 2.) Chicago

The possible antithesis to New York dogs, Chicago dogs are layered with yellow mustard, dark green relish, chopped raw onion, pickle spear, sport peppers, tomato slices and topped with a dash of celery salt and served in a poppy seed bun.


3.) Atlanta and the South

Buying a hot dog at Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves, or elsewhere in Atlanta and the south, you’ll find your dog topped with coleslaw and perhaps some delicious Vidalia onions.


4.) Kansas City

Get the mints out – you’ll need them when you order up a hot dog in KC as it is served with sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese on a sesame seed bun.


5.) The Rockie Dog

Served at Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies – is a foot-long dog with grilled peppers, kraut and onions.


6.) The Fenway Frank

Served at none other than Fenway Park – is the only dog to eat while watching the Red Sox. It’s boiled and grilled and served in a New England style bun with mustard and relish. New England dogs can also be found topped with Boston baked beans


7.) Sonoran Dog

This Southwestern favorite features a grilled, bacon-wrapped hot dog on a sturdy bun, pinto beans, grilled onions and green peppers, chopped fresh tomatoes, relish, tomatillo jalapeno salsa, mayonnaise, mustard and shredded cheese.


8.) The Texas Dog

Chili, cheese and jalapenos make this the favored item at Minute Maid Park in Houston.


9.) Michigan Coney Island Dog (AKA Michigan Coney)

This favorite of Michiganders features a meaty chili sauce on top of a hot dog with mustard and onion.


10.) West Virginia Dog

This favorite features chili, mustard and coleslaw atop a wiener on a steamed bun.


11.) New Jersey Dog

A variety of hot dog styles can be found in New Jersey but the one most unique to the state is the Italian Dog. It’s a hot dog in thick pizza bread topped with onions, peppers and deep fried potatoes.


12.) Philadelphia Dog

A classic Philadelphia dog is one of the most interesting ones you’ll find. It features the brotherly love of an all-beef hot dog with a fish cake inside the bun as well. It is often topped with a sweet vinegary slaw and spicy mustard.


13.) Cleveland Polish Boy

Cleveland is home to two unique hot dog offerings. The Polish Boy is a kielbasa or hot dog served on a bun covered with a layer of french fries, a layer of sweet southern style barbecue sauce or hot sauce, and a layer of coleslaw. It is commonly found in carts around town. At Indians games and elsewhere in the city you can also top your hot dog with Stadium Mustard, a type of Brown mustard with similar flavor to a spicy Dijon mustard.


14.) Cincinnati Coney

The home of famous chili is also the home of some delicious chili dogs. These are topped with Cincinnati style chili and usually also feature a heaping mound of grated cheddar cheese on top.

 


15.) Washington, D.C.

The Nation’s Capital is where you’ll find the half-smoke: a half pork, half beef sausage that is like a hot dog but with more coarsely ground meat and a little extra spice. A classic half-smoke is topped with chili, mustard and onions. You can find them in hot dog joints around the city as well as at Nationals Park.

 


16.) California

There are many different hot dog varieties sold throughout the state of California, but the one most unique to the state is a bacon wrapped dog with grilled onions and peppers. These are favorites from carts around Los Angeles and San Francisco.

 


17.) Seattle

The Seattle dog offers a topping twist not found in many places around the country…cream cheese. The hot dogs are split in half and grilled before being put in a toasted bun and are also topped with grilled onions. Sriracha sauce and jalapeños are popular additions as well.

 


18) Alaska

 

True to its roots in the far north, the Alaska dog is commonly called a Reindeer hot dog or sausage, but it isn’t actually made from reindeer meat. Instead the meat is typically caribou. The hot dog is served in a steamed bun with grilled onions that are sometimes sautéed in coca-cola.