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    UFCW Blog

January 30, 2018

Take a peek inside the 113-year old tannery where UFCW members make the leather for every NFL football

Did you know the leather for every single NFL football, including the ones that will be used in Sunday’s Super Bowl, is crafted in Chicago by members of UFCW Local 1546 at the Horween Leather Company? The hard-working men and women of Horween have been making the leather for every official National Football League ball since the early 1940s. Almost every leather football you see — Wilson, Spalding, Nike, Rawlings, Adidas — began its journey to the field in the hands of a UFCW Local 1546 member.

The company takes pride in the talented workers whose skills are evident in the quality of the final product. Despite the leather’s sheen, which can give the appearance of being slippery, the proprietary “tanned in tack” finish actually means the ball gets stickier after being buffed a few times, making it easier to grip. A 1,000-ton press with special German-made embossing plates gives the leather its distinctive pebbling.

Horween Leather Company was founded in 1905 in Chicago and for five generations has been producing a wide range of top quality leathers ever since. During World War II, it was Horween who supplied Chromexcel for shoes worn by the Marine Corps. Chromexcel is a labor-intensive leather that undergoes at least 89 separate processes, taking 28 working days and utilizing all five floors of the facility. The formula has had very few changes since it was developed, with a few minor necessary exceptions like swapping out whale oil for a more modern-day equivalent.

Horween is also one of the world’s last remaining producers of shell cordovan, a durable equine leather. Shell cordovan is unique for its durability and tendency to form attractive rolls in the leather as it ages rather than creasing. Allen Edmonds, a 92-year-old shoemaker based in Wisconsin, uses this leather in its Park Avenue Cordovan Oxfords, which Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush wore for their inaugurations. The leather in a properly maintained pair of shell cordovan shoes can last 20 years to a lifetime.

To take a peek inside the over 100-year old facility and see some of the pros hard at work, check out the slideshow:

January 23, 2018

As American as apple pie: happy National Pie Day

To celebrate National Pie Day (Jan 23), here’s some fun facts we learned from The American Pie Council about one of America’s favorite desserts:

1.) Pie crust was originally not intended to be eaten.

Pie has been around since the ancient Egyptians. The first pies were made by early Romans who may have learned about it through the Greeks. These pies were sometimes made in “reeds” which were used for the sole purpose of holding the filling and not for eating with the filling.

Pie came to America with the first English settlers. The early colonists cooked their pies in long narrow pans calling them “coffins” like the crust in England. As in the Roman times, the early American pie crusts often were not eaten, but simply designed to hold the filling during baking. It was during the American Revolution that the term crust was used instead of coffyn.

Baker Preparing Pies by Italian painter Bartolomeo Passarotti (1529-1592)

2.) The Romans published the first pie recipe, and it sounds delicious.

The Romans must have spread the word about pies around Europe as the Oxford English Dictionary notes that the word pie was a popular word in the 14th century. The first pie recipe was published by the Romans and was for a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie.

3.) Cherry pie is said to have royal origins (but it’s probably not true).

The early pies were predominately meat pies. Pyes (pies) originally appeared in England as early as the twelfth century. The crust of the pie was referred to as “coffyn”. There was actually more crust than filling. Often these pies were made using fowl and the legs were left to hang over the side of the dish and used as handles. Fruit pies or tarts (pasties) were probably first made in the 1500s. English tradition credits making the first cherry pie to Queen Elizabeth I.

4.) For the best pie, keep it cold and keep it simple.

Cold ingredients are essential to making a great pie crust It even helps to have cold bowls and utensils. In addition, be sure to chill the dough for at least an hour before rolling it out. Keeping the shortening cold ensures a nice flaky crust!

Don’t overwork or overhandle the dough. Your shortening/butter should be coated with flour mixture, not blended with it. Over-processing causes gluten to form, a substance that toughens the dough. It’s even a good idea to have cold hands before handling.

5.) You can make a tasty pie entirely from UFCW-made ingredients.

Butter, flour, eggs, sugar, whipped topping, and pie filling – UFCW members at a number of different local unions across the country help make sure you have quality ingredients for your family recipes. Here’s a sample of just a few of the pie-related ingredients the men and women of the UFCW are hard at work making:

January 19, 2018

UFCW Statement on USDA Decision to Eliminate Line Speed Limits at Pork Plants

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), released the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to eliminate line speed limits at pork plants.

“This desire to increase line speeds is being driven entirely by corporate greed and defies common sense.

“Jobs inside pork plants are some of the most dangerous and difficult in America. We’re only putting workers at greater risk of injury and consumers at greater risk of consuming unsafe meat by asking everyone who labors inside one to work faster.

“For the sake of keeping millions of hard-working families safe, this decision deserves immediate reconsideration.”

BACKGROUND

  • The UFCW union family represents hard-working men and women in pork plants that have already had their line speed limits eliminated as part of a trial program, as well as people who are in plants that run profitably with line speed limits in place.
  • According to a 2013 report from the USDA OIG, the existing trial program did not result in better food safety.
  • Injury rates in the meatpacking industry are already twice as high as the national average and workplace illness rates are 20 times as high.
  • This latest announcement follows the recent regulatory effort to remove line speed limits for the poultry industry.

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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.

January 19, 2018

Apply for the Union Plus Scholarship Program

Application deadline:  12:00pm (noon, Eastern Time), Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

Did you know that as a UFCW member, you and your family are eligible for an exclusive scholarship through the Union Plus Scholarship Program?

The scholarship amounts range from $500 to $4,000. These one-time cash awards are for study beginning in the Fall of 2018. Students may re-apply each year.

Since 1991, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded more than $4.2 million to students of working families who want to begin or continue their post-secondary education.

Over 2,800 families have benefited from our commitment to higher education. The Union Plus Scholarship Program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation.

Apply today!

​Winners will be announced May 31, 2017. Read about the 2016 winner here.

 

January 17, 2018

Behind the scenes of keeping our roads safe

When winter weather hits, UFCW Local 1994 members in Maryland help keep the roads safe during icy conditions. While everyone else is trying to stay off the roads, that’s when Local 1994 members spring into action. Thank you for all that you do!

January 15, 2018

UFCW celebrates the legacy of Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr.

About two weeks before he was assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed a massive crowd of sanitation workers who had gone on strike. He know the value of hardworking people, and championed their cause. We continue to fight for a better life in his name today.

“This is a particularly important time to reflect on Dr. King’s pursuit of inclusivity and allow it to inspire our enthusiasm for the same ideals,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “He showed that change for the better and compassion for others starts with all of us. When we stand up for our values and become actively involved in positive action, we can build a better nation and a better life for the many, not just the few.”

January 15, 2018

UFCW Statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), released the following statement regarding Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

“This is a particularly important time to reflect on Dr. King’s pursuit of inclusivity and allow it to inspire our enthusiasm for the same ideals. He showed that change for the better and compassion for others starts with all of us. When we stand up for our values and become actively involved in positive action, we can build a better nation and a better life for the many, not just the few.” 

“It would be a fitting tribute to Dr. King and his legacy in 2018 if our country and those who lead us could begin moving beyond divisions, and towards an America that is defined by justice, dignity, and respect.”

 

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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.

 

January 11, 2018

One more day to apply for Free College! Open to UFCW members, retirees, and their families

Registration for the next semester of the UFCW’s Free College Benefit closes tomorrow, so there’s still time to make your dreams of going back to school a reality. While going to college for free might seem too good to be true, the benefit is just one of the many perks of UFCW membership that can help you save money and build a better future for yourself and your loved ones.

If you are a UFCW member, retired UFCW member, or a family member and one of your New Year’s resolutions was to go back to school and get your degree, make sure you don’t miss the deadline!

This amazing benefit  makes it possible for UFCW members and their families to earn an Associate Degree online through Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC) with no out-of-pocket costs or need for loans. Classes at EGCC are scheduled to start on January 16th.

The UFCW’s Free College Benefit is designed to help UFCW members and their families balance work and home life. You can attend school part-time or full-time – whichever fits your schedule. All you need to get started is a high school degree or GED, and there are no entrance exams to worry about. Available programs at EGCC include Business Management, Accounting, Paralegal, and Early Childhood Education.

This benefit is available exclusively to UFCW members, retired members, and family members, including children, spouses, grandchildren, domestic partners, and dependents. You can learn more information about this amazing benefit here 

January 10, 2018

10% off winter tires for UFCW members

Discount Goodyear Tires & Car Services – Treat your car well and save with a Union Plus Goodyear Coupon!

Regular auto maintenance and new tire purchases from Goodyear help stretch the longevity and value of your vehicle. Use the Union Plus Goodyear Discount Coupon for tires and services, to keep your car in good shape and save money – while also supporting your fellow labor union members.

Through an agreement with the company-owned Goodyear Auto Service or Just Tires, Union Plus Goodyear discount Goodyear tire deals and car service savings are now available exclusively to union members – call the store to make sure they will honor the Goodyear discount. Not every store that sells Goodyear tires is a company-owned store. You will need to provide Union Member ID and a copy of the coupon to get the discount.

Valid forms of ID

  • Union member card
  • Paycheck showing dues deduction
  • Union Plus MasterCard

Print this Goodyear coupon (PDF)* and take it to a participating store below.

Click on the following links to find a participating tire center near you:

Before going to the dealer, call to make sure they will honor the Goodyear coupon. Non-company-owned Goodyear stores are not required to honor the coupon.

*The Goodyear coupon is a PDF file. If you do not already have Acrobat installed, you can download a free copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

January 5, 2018

Make this the year you get your degree with UFCW Free College

Registration for the next semester of the UFCW’s Free College Benefit is open until January 12, so if you are a UFCW member, retired UFCW member, or a family member and one of your New Year’s resolutions was to go back to school and get your degree, make sure you don’t miss the deadline!

This amazing benefit  makes it possible for UFCW members and their families to earn an Associate Degree online through Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC) with no out-of-pocket costs or need for loans. Classes at EGCC are scheduled to start on January 16th.

The UFCW’s Free College Benefit is designed to help UFCW members and their families balance work and home life. You can attend school part-time or full-time – whichever fits your schedule. All you need to get started is a high school degree or GED, and there are no entrance exams to worry about. Available programs at EGCC include Business Management, Accounting, Paralegal, and Early Childhood Education.

This benefit is available exclusively to UFCW members, retired members, and family members, including children, spouses, grandchildren, domestic partners, and dependents. You can learn more information about this amazing benefit here