Web Analytics
  • Background Image

    UFCW Blog

December 6, 2019

Save 10% on new Goodyear tires

10% Discount Goodyear Tires & Car Services – Treat your car well and save with a Union Plus Goodyear Coupon!

Only two in five Americans who live in colder climates use winter tires, whereas about two-thirds of Canadians are use winter or snow tires. Though switching to winter tires doesn’t remove the responsibility of driving safely when the weather gets bad, they can help you avoid weather-related accidents.

If winter tires are so good during cold weather, why can’t you just leave them on year round? Winter tires need to be more flexible and essentially have more “squish” to them. The same features that help maintain good traction in the winter wear down faster and lead to decreased responsiveness in the summer when temperatures rise.

Regardless of what time of year it is, it’s important to maintain your tires, make sure the treads aren’t worn down, and check your tire pressure regularly.

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.

Many Goodyear tires are made by members of the United Steelworkers of America (USW) or the UFCW, so you can support you fellow labor union members and service your car at the same time.

Get the Discount

 

December 6, 2019

UFCW Applauds House Passage of Voting Rights Advancement Act

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Calls Bill Passage Biggest Victory for Access to Democracy Since Voting Rights Act of 1965

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) applauded passage of H.R. 4, the “Voting Rights Advancement Act” by the U.S. House of Representatives and released the following statement:

“The Voting Rights Advancement Act is a critical step forward in ensuring that every eligible voter across the country has the right to have their voice heard. Further, it will go a long way towards righting years of decisions and efforts by state and local politicians to prevent millions of Americans from voting.

“Together, we can ensure that no one group is singled out and that every person, regardless of their race, economic status or political affiliation, has access to the ballot box.”

Background:

  • Since the 2013 Shelby County vs. Holder decision by the Supreme Court rolling back key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many states and localities have implemented efforts that make it more difficult for lower income people and people of color to vote.
  • In response, the “Voting Rights Advancement Act” or VRAA would modernize and enhance federal protections on access to the vote for all Americans.
  • H.R. 4, the VRAA, passed the house on a December 6, 2019 with bipartisan support.

###

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

December 4, 2019

UFCW Statement on Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Applauds Warren-Schakowsky Legislation for ‘Holding Corporations Accountable’ and Helping End ‘Exploitation’ of Retail Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), announced its support for the Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights Act unveiled by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) and U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL). UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Rather than do what’s right, multi-billion dollar retail companies force millions of Americans into part-time jobs – jobs that guarantee they will struggle to make ends meet. Far too many of these workers are paid low wages, cannot access family leave or contribute to a pension, and are losing extra hours to outside contractors. This is wrong and it must end now.

“The Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights will go a long way towards making part-time jobs good jobs for all workers. This bill will hold corporations accountable and help end the modern-day exploitation of millions of hard-working men and women in America’s retail industry.”

### 

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

 

 

December 3, 2019

UFCW: Retirement of Millions of Americans Threatened by New Congressional Pension Proposal

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Says Congress Must Reject Plan that Reduces Current Benefits and Jeopardizes Pensions for Future Retirees 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), announced its opposition to a multiemployer pensions proposal from U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander. UFCW President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Millions of American workers – union and nonunion – would have their retirement thrown into chaos if this plan passes. Not only would it cause a massive reduction in current pension benefits, it will recklessly endanger the pensions of future retirees across the country. After a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice, workers should be able to retire with dignity and the security of knowing they can provide for themselves and their loved ones.

“Congress must pass the bipartisan Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act to protect these pensions before the crisis becomes even more costly and widespread. The retirement security for millions of workers and their families is on the line. We cannot wait any longer.”

Grassley Pensions Plan Impact on American Workers’ Retirement Security

This proposal, if implemented, will severely harm healthy defined benefit multiemployer plans, and will put millions of participants’ pension plans at risk.

  • The proposed PBGC premiums and new retiree and stakeholder copayments will place tremendous burdens on healthy plans, unnecessarily punish the stakeholders, and disproportionately impact plans with lower contribution rates.
  • The proposed changes to the calculations used to value liabilities are inappropriate, logically inconsistent, and will overstate the value of liabilities significantly, causing extreme harm to plans that are currently healthy.
  • Proposed changes to withdrawal liability provisions will very likely decrease withdrawal liability amounts, meaning that many employers who withdraw from plans will not be required to pay their fair share, exacerbating the already-existing financial strain faced by these plans.
  • Proposed governance changes will be harmful to plans’ continued existence and do not address the underlying causes of the problem that Congress is trying to solve.
  • Proposed restrictions on benefit improvements in healthy plans are inappropriate.
  • The creation of “Composite Plans” would legalize a new plan structure that would shift investment risk from employers to workers.

UFCW Call for Action on Multiemployer Pensions

UFCW has been a strong national advocate for pensions reform and is calling for Congress to pass H.R. 397, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act. Last year, UFCW sent a letter to Congress urging action on legislation to provide low-cost loans to eligible multiemployer pension plans to enable them to continue to pay earned pensions to retirees and fund their long-term pension commitments.

Why Congress Must Pass the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act:

The Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act is a common-sense way to shore up the multiemployer plans while protecting the earned pensions of retirees and active workers.

  • An estimated 10 million workers and retirees are in about 1,400 multiemployer pension plans. (PBGC)
  • The failure of pension plans would hurt not only individual retirees, but also their local communities, the plans’ contributing employers and the future of the multiemployer retirement system overall.

The Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act provides a path forward to address the country’s growing pension crisis by providing the financial support the plans need to avoid insolvency.

  • If nothing is done, some troubled plans will fail and retirees will face massive cuts to the benefits they earned over decades of work.
  • If the plans are allowed to fail, not only will they no longer be able to pay promised benefits, but taxpayers would be at risk of having to pay billions to cover the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) shortfall.

The Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act would create a Pension Rehabilitation Administration, within the Treasury Department, to provide low-cost loans to qualified underfunded multiemployer pension plans.

  • Plans would have up to 30 years to pay earned retiree benefits, prudently invest the loan proceeds and employer contributions, and re-pay the loan.
  • During the loan period, employers may not reduce contributions and the plan may not increase promised benefits.
  • The plan must demonstrate that receipt of the loan will enable the plan to avoid insolvency, pay benefits and loan interest, and accumulate sufficient funds to repay the loan principal when due.

 

###

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

December 2, 2019

2019 UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship Winners

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. The fund has distributed more than $2 million in scholarships since 1958.

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.

Congratulations to the 2019 UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship winners and good luck with your classes!

 

 

November 28, 2019

News Roundup: Thanksgiving Edition

Black Friday More Stressful with Self-Checkout

If you’re one of the 165 million Americans shopping on Black Friday, you’ll probably encounter automation somewhere along the route. But the most common automation encounter – the self-checkout machine – continues to display dubious value. A new Brookings report found that the ratio of worker displacement to productivity growth is “less favorable” than historical automation innovations.

With less staffing in retail stores, that’s less customer service – not what you want on the busiest shopping day of the year.

Read More

How AI is Changing Holiday Travel with Kids

Airlines are using AI and algorithms to pack more and more people onto planes and one consequence is families being separated on the flight. That’s right, unless you pay extra money, your seats will most likely be assigned by a computer, warns Consumer Reports. That could mean you in one row, and your toddler in another as airlines set their ticketing automation to deprioritize families.

Even worse, the humans you deal with on the phone or at the ticket counter may not have the power to change it. And as millions take to the skies to visit families over the holidays, you could be seated next to an uphappy child – that’s not yours.

Read More

Number of the Week: 54 Percent

That’s the number of U.S. consumers who plan to do most of their holiday shopping online, the highest it’s ever been. But beware the Cyber Monday deals – unlike traditional Black Friday, retailers like Amazon can quickly change prices hour by hour, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get the best deal offered. One more way brick and mortar stores are a better deal for consumers.

Read More


Any upcoming stories about the impact of automation on the retail industry and the economy?

If you’re interested in speaking with UFCW, email awhite@ufcw.org for a quote, statistics, or interviews with workers in retail and other sectors of the economy.

November 27, 2019

Top 5 most forgotten Thanksgiving ingredients

UFCW members work at major grocery stores such as Kroger, Ralph’s, Meijer, Safeway, Giant, Albertsons, and Stop & Shop, and over the years have been there to help with last-minute Thanksgiving grocery shopping.

“My dad worked grocery for over two decades,” said UFCW International Facebook page fan Victor Román in response to a recent post thanking our UFCW members who are working this Thanksgiving. “I recall times we had to have dinner later so he could join us, or earlier so he could leave for his shift. I never take for granted, when I do have to go to the store on a holiday, the service the clerks and cashiers are providing me. While I would have preferred that my dad stay with us the entire Thanksgiving day, I’m glad that at least he got paid extra for providing his employer time that is priceless to us. That extra pay, I’m sure, was in large part due to negotiations that the UFCW had made on behalf of their members.”

Román wasn’t alone in expressing his gratitude for those working over the holidays. “I work at a grocery store that is represented by the UFCW, and have worked my share of holidays,” said Todd Gustafson in a Facebook comment.  “And I do appreciate all my fellow sisters and brothers, who along with myself, have spent time away from their family so others could spend time with theirs.”

If you do end up running to the store on Thanksgiving, remember the people working and taking time away from their loved ones so that you have the things you need for your holiday feast. Even the most careful cook can forget an ingredient from time to time when there’s so much going on, so make sure you have these top 5 most often forgotten items.

1. Cream cheese

Cream cheese sneaks it’s way into a number of recipes from appetizers to desserts, but we don’t really think of it as a Thanksgiving staple so it’s easy to leave off.

Open package cream cheese on grey surface. High point of view.

2. Cream of mushroom soup

Green bean casserole and a number of other dishes make use of cream of mushroom soup as a base. Eyeball your recipes to be sure you’re not leaving this one out.

Can of Mushroom Soup. illustration3. Celery

Celery is one of those ingredients that is easy to forget any time of year because it’s rarely the star of a recipe, but really adds to the flavor and texture of a dish. If you use celery in your stuffing, don’t forget to pick this up in the produce aisle.

Celery stalks on white cutting board4. Yams

Perhaps it’s yam’s simplicity that makes them easy to forget, but many would be sad to find this Thanksgiving staple missing from their table.

Plate of candied yams5. Butter

Grocery chain Meijer sells more butter the day before Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. It’s best not to guess on this one. Make a list of everything you’ll be cooking and add up how many sticks of butter you’ll need. Do you need salted or unsalted? Will you want more butter at the table for spreading on rolls? Try to leave enough time to let butter for the table reach room temperature so that it’s easier to spread.

Close-Up Of Butter On Blue Background

November 25, 2019

UFCW: Consumer and Worker Protections Must Be Top Priority for Northeast Governors in Cannabis Framework

Union Representing Cannabis Workers Calls for Regional Framework to Prioritize Labor Peace Agreements that Support Good Jobs, Consumer Safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union is calling for consumer and worker protections to be a top priority for Governors Andrew Cuomo (New York), Ned Lamont (Connecticut), Phil Murphy (New Jersey), Gina Raimondo (Rhode Island), Tom Wolf (Pennsylvania), and Charlie Baker (Massachusetts) in their states’ new joint framework on cannabis.

In a letter to these governors, UFCW called the agreement an important first step to strengthen the cannabis industry and support good jobs, but also emphasized the need to invest in high standards that put consumers and workers first. UFCW President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“America’s cannabis industry has the power to create thousands of good jobs that support hardworking families and the communities they serve. But we can only achieve this with strong labor peace agreements that set high standards that reward responsible businesses, strengthen worker voices, and put consumer safety first. We urge these governors to make this a centerpiece of their cannabis framework as they continue to invest in the future of our economy.”

BACKGROUND

In the letter to Northeast governors, UFCW emphasized the importance of labor peace agreements. A labor peace agreement is a written and mutually agreed-upon document between a labor union and an employer, typically one that is licensed to operate in a regulated industry by a state or local government.

  • Labor peace agreements strengthen business stability and support a healthy workplace
  • Unions and their members typically agree to refrain from engaging in strikes, boycotts, picketing and any other interference in the employer’s business.
  • Employers, in return, agree to not interfere with efforts by the labor union to communicate with, and attempt to organize and represent, the employer’s workers.
  • These agreements generally require the employer, including management and supervisory staff, to agree to remain neutral regarding unions and their representation of the workforce.

Labor peace agreements do not equate to mandatory unionization and do not impose a union contract. In fact, union organizing must still take place at the worksite. And negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement between the union and the business only begin after a majority of workers elect to join the union. Ultimately, labor peace agreements provide an additional safeguard for workers and strengthen the businesses that agree to them.

Both New York and New Jersey already have labor peace agreements in place for medical cannabis businesses.

This week’s letter is signed by the following labor leaders:

  • UFCW International President Marc Perrone – Washington, D.C.
  • Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union President Stuart Appelbaum – New York, NY
  • UFCW International Vice President and Region 1 Director David Young – Little Falls, NJ
  • UFCW Local 152 President Brian String – Egg Harbor Township, NJ
  • UFCW Local 328 President Timothy Melia – Providence, RI
  • RWDSU/UFCW Local 338 President Jon Durso – Mineola, NY
  • UFCW Local 360 President Salvatore “Sam” Ferraino – West Berlin, NJ
  • UFCW Local 371 President Thomas Wilkinson – Westport, CT
  • UFCW Local 919 President Mark Espinosa – Farmington, CT
  • UFCW Local 1445 President Jeffrey Bollen – Dedham, MA
  • UFCW Local 1459 President Tyrone Housey – Springfield, MA
  • UFCW Local 1776KS President Wendell Young – Plymouth Meeting, PA
  • RWDSU New York City Director Dave Mertz – New York, NY

Since 2010, the UFCW has been a leader in the cannabis industry and currently represents thousands of cannabis workers in 12 states around the country. The UFCW represents more than 300,000 workers across a wide range of industries in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

###

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

 

November 22, 2019

News Roundup: Coding Won’t Save You From Automation

“Learn to Code” Won’t Save You from Automation

A new Forrester Research study on the impact of artificial intelligence found that by 2030, a stunning 73 percent of “cubicle-related” jobs could be eliminated – including data entry, shipping clerks and loan processors. “Location-based” jobs like grocery clerks will also be impacted, with almost 40 percent of positions expected to be wiped out.

Even software developers are at risk because “coding is going to be automated,” according to the reports authors who said parents with kids in coding schools should “get them into A.I., because coding isn’t going to be a job in the future.” Simply put, coding is not the silver bullet for future job security that many claim it is.

Read More

McDonald’s Has Buyer’s Remorse on Cashless Kiosks

The fast food giant has installed self-ordering kiosks in 9,000 domestic locations since 2015, but the company is now realizing they discriminate against the 30 percent of fast-food customers who use cash. The cost of fixing this problem would largely fall on franchisees who have already paid as much as $750,000 per store for the kiosks and other improvements.

One industry expert said the world’s biggest restaurant company “should have thought about that,” adding that cash customers should “have the same access to personalization, or to get in and out quickly if there’s a line.” This could have more companies thinking twice before plowing head-first into technology that could turn customers away and hurt sales.

Read More

Don’t Get Crushed – Safety Professionals Concerned About Working Alongside Robots

As robots continue to be a part of more and more workplaces, safety experts are trying to figure out how to make sure that humans can work safely alongside them. Experts have identified four main types of ways that robots injure workers: collisions, crushing, mechanical tool injuries (like saws or drills) and injuries cause by leaking high-pressure lines or sparks or other debris flying off machines.

More complete safety assessments are needed before robots are installed and the safety assessment process should be redone every time a robot or the environment it works in changes – otherwise workers can be seriously injured.

Read More

Number of the Week: 18,000

That’s the number of jobs that Deutsche Bank has cut in an increased automation push. That includes 4,700 in the last year alone. It’s not just installing ATMs to replace tellers either – the push has almost completely eliminated the stock trading and sales division. In fact, the bank has set a goal to “automate large parts of its back-office.”

Read More


Any upcoming stories about the impact of automation on the retail industry and the economy?

If you’re interested in speaking with UFCW, email awhite@ufcw.org for a quote, statistics, or interviews with workers in retail and other sectors of the economy.

November 20, 2019

UFCW Statement on Amazon Launch of Cashierless Grocery Chain

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) announced its opposition to Amazon’s launch of a cashierless grocery chain reported to open next year. UFCW President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Amazon has one agenda – to eliminate as many jobs as possible to enrich one multi-billionaire, Jeff Bezos. The takeover of Whole Foods was just the beginning of a ruthless strategy to fundamentally change our country’s grocery industry. Despite a widespread consumer backlash to Amazon Go stores, Jeff Bezos is doubling down on the cashierless business model in food retail as he seeks to eliminate millions of good American jobs.

Make no mistake, Amazon represents a clear and present danger to working and middle class Americans. It is long past the time for our leaders to wake up and act before Amazon and Jeff Bezos do long-lasting damage to America’s economy.”

###

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.