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    UFCW Blog

September 27, 2018

UFCW Requesting USDA to Reopen Comments on Pork Line Speed Rule

New injury data could show danger rule poses to workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), is requesting the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a letter to reopen the comment period and delay the implementation of the pork line speed rule, which would allow for unlimited increase in hog slaughter line speeds. The USDA withheld important injury data relating to the proposed rule until after the comment period had closed.

The letter can be found here.

“Thousands of pork workers all across America understand from firsthand experience that this is an extremely dangerous rule change and we believe the data will support this fact,” said Perrone. “Make no mistake, increasing line speeds is a needless weakening of our safety standards. It threatens the quality and health of our food supply and cruelly endangers the lives of workers who make it. This proposed rule must be stopped.”

UFCW members who are hog slaughter workers hand-delivered Perrone’s letter to Carmen Rottenberg, administrator of the FSIS, on September 26 after meeting with USDA officials to explain why the proposed rule is dangerous.


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 atwww.ufcw.org.

September 24, 2018

“Let’s negotiate! I can’t wait to see all of the positive improvements that will be guaranteed with our union contract!”

We’re excited to announce we have additional members to our UFCW family! Last month, twenty workers at the Peach Tree Acres assisted living facility in Harbeson, Delaware, voted unanimously to join UFCW Local 27. Peach Tree Acres is the only facility of its type in the state of Delaware and provides apartment-style assisted living and day care rehabilitative services for adults with brain injuries.

The men and women of Peach Tree Acres work hard to provide quality care and are passionate about their work. Wanting to make their workplace the best that it could possibly be, they reached out to UFCW Local 27 about joining and becoming union members because they were concerned about issue with wages, medical insurance, and a lack of respect from management in the workplace.

Excited to move forward

“It feels great to know that now that we voted for Local 27, someone will have our back at work!” said Kyna Hanzer.

“Let’s negotiate! I can’t wait to see all of the positive improvements that will be guaranteed with our union contract!” said Chrissy Hanzer.

“I am truly excited about upcoming negotiations with the company,” said Anthony Vogel. “I like the fact that, with a union contract, we will have job security.”

“Congratulations to the hard-working men and women of Peach Tree Acres! We look forward to negotiating the best contract that we can for the workers and their families,” said UFCW Local 27 President Jason Chorpenning.

Peach Tree Acres workers pose together and give thumbs up

September 20, 2018

UFCW Statement on Amazon’s Expansion of Cashierless Stores

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), issued the following statement regarding reports that Amazon is planning to open as many as 3,000 cashierless stores by 2021. 

“It is time for America’s elected leaders to wake up to the economic threat Amazon poses to our economy.

“Make no mistake, creating cashierless stores is not about convenience; rather, it is about greed.

“Jeff Bezos and Amazon are deploying a business model that poses an existential threat to millions of American jobs, and it is time we are honest about the devastating impact this will have on our nation and tens of millions of hard-working families.”


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.


September 19, 2018

UFCW Local 152 members gain significant wins in new contract

UFCW Local 152 members votingOne of the perks of being a union member is being able to take a more active role in the benefits and working conditions you have on the job. UFCW Local 152 members recently demonstrated how that can translate to a better life for everyone involved when they successfully negotiated with their employer for a number of significant improvements.

On Sept. 11, members of UFCW Local 152 who work at Eagleview Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Pittsgrove, New Jersey, ratified a new contract that includes wage increases and new benefits.

The three-year contract, which was ratified by an overwhelming margin, introduces many new perks, including a wage increase for each year of the contract; shift differential rates for weekend, second, and third shift workers; and paid meal breaks if members need to work through their meal times for the needs of the business. Additionally, members will now have a lesser out-of-pocket cost for their health care benefits, including newly bargained legal services.

UFCW Local 152 members at Eagleview Healthcare and Rehabilitation are employed as certified nursing assistants, dietary aides, housekeeping and laundry aides, and maintenance workers.

September 18, 2018

Show Your Love with Affordable Pet Insurance Options!

If you are a UFCW member, you can protect your pets from expected and unexpected veterinary expenses with Accident and Routine Care bundles from Pets Best.  Or choose one of the Best Benefit Accident and Illness plans and save 10%.

Plans start at just $6/month for cats and $9/month for dogs.

Get flexible accident, illness, and routine care coverage customized to your pet and your budget. Protect every member of your family with pet insurance from Pets Best.

  • 10% Member Discount on BestBenefit Plans*
  • Use any vet in the US – no restrictions
  • Claim reimbursement in 5 days or less
  • 24/7 Pet Helpline Service
  • Mobile app

View Deal >

September 14, 2018

Help Make Labor Against Cancer Donation Drive a Success

The UFCW is continuing to build on the success of last year’s launch of the Labor Against Cancer initiative in the battle to end blood cancers.

For more than 30 years, the UFCW has partnered with LLS to fund and support some of the world’s best and brightest blood cancer researchers to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life for patients and their families. To date, we have raised over $86 million to help fund research that has advanced treatments such as chemotherapy, stem cell transplantation, and smart drugs, which have become the standard for many other cancers.

Donate today and stand with your fellow UFCW family in the battle to end blood cancers.

This year, there are many opportunities to participate in Labor Against Cancer, starting with our annual member drive.

Additionally, each $10 donor will receive a Labor Against Cancer wristband and each $20 donor will receive a union-made Labor Against Cancer pin.

Together, we can show our brothers and sisters who are struggling with blood cancers that they are not alone and can have hope for the future.

September 12, 2018

Six important things to know to prepare for a disaster

In the past 10 years the United States has officially declared over 1,000 disasters. And over the last century, more than 25 million Americans have been affected. And that’s not including disasters declared at the state and local level. And, in the Fall of 2017, alone, three major hurricanes – Harvey, Irma and Maria – were estimated to have impacted 25.8 million Americans.

Chances are, one day you’ll be affected. Planning now means you’ll have better control of the situation.



*If unsure, ask your gas company.

Shutting off gas before an emergency can help avoid gas leaks and explosions.


*If unsure, ask your local electric company.

Electrical problems cause an average of 25,900 house fires each year. The risk grows during a disaster. Shut off breakers or pull out fuses in the breaker or fuse box.


An emergency communication plan means family members know where to go, what to do, and how to reconnect and reunite when disaster strikes.


Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster. Just a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars of damage.


Locate pet-friendly shelters for your furry friends. Many emergency shelters can’t accept pets, for public health reasons. Service animals are always welcome.


Many communities have evacuation routes, learn about them. Minutes matter during a disaster.

September 11, 2018

Hurricane Safety

Source:  Ready.gov


  • Can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
  • Can affect areas more than 100 miles inland.
  • Are most active in September.


  • Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
    • Evacuate if told to do so.
    • Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.

Prepare NOW

  • Know your area’s risk of hurricanes.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.
  • Practice going to a safe shelter for high winds, such as a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not subject to flooding.
  • Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
  • Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route, and shelter locations.
  • Gather needed supplies for at least three days. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  • Keep important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies.
  • Protect your property. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups. Consider hurricane shutters. Review insurance policies.

When a hurricane is 36 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.

When a hurricane is 18-36 hours from arriving

  • Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
  • Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.

When a hurricane is 6-18 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.

When a hurricane is 6 hours from arriving

  • If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

Survive DURING

  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not drive around barricades.
  • If sheltering during high winds, go to a FEMA safe room, ICC 500 storm shelter, or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding.
  • If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Listen for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.


  • Listen to authorities for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.

Associated Content


September 7, 2018

Congratulations to Local 700 ConAgra Workers

Members of UFCW Local 700 who work at the ConAgra tablespreads plant in Indianapolis celebrated their wall-to-wall union status when the last five nonunion workers at the plant joined our union family this summer.

The nearly 300 workers at the plant, who produce Reddi-wip toppings and butter spreads like Blue Bonnet, Parkay, Fleischmann’s and Move Over Butter, know we are stronger when we stand together. Members of UFCW Local 700 at the plant talked to the workers about the value that comes with joining our union family and encouraged them to join in time to participate in the approval process of a new contract.

“We build power when everyone in a worksite joins together and stands together every day,” said UFCW Local 700 President Joe Chorpenning. “This is how we make better lives for our members.”

September 6, 2018

Empire Kosher ultimate Rosh Hashanah chicken recipe

Empire Kosher is not only the largest kosher poultry producer in the United States, but the hard-working men and women of the Pennsylvania processing plant are members of UFCW Local 1776.

This recipe below is from Empire Kosher’s own list of holiday recipes for your family. The recipe incorporates both apples and honey, symbols of a sweet new year, as well as pomegranate, which symbolizes fruitfulness.

How to make this recipe…


1 Empire Kosher 8 Piece Cut Up Chicken
1 tablespoon Empire Kosher Rendered Chicken Fat
Salt, pepper to taste
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup pomegranate juice (all natural unsweetened cranberry juice is also good)
¼ cup low salt Kosher chicken broth
1 granny smith apple, cored and diced into ½” pieces
¼ cup honey

Recipe Instructions:

  1. Pat chicken pieces dry with a paper towel. Season lightly with salt, pepper and cayenne.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F
  3. Heat rendered fat in a Dutch oven or large 12” skillet on medium high heat until smoking.
  4. Add 4 chicken pieces to the skillet and brown on both sides for 5 minutes
  5. Remove from skillet to a clean plate. Repeat with remaining 4 pieces of chicken.
  6. Leaving the juices in the pan, add the garlic and shallots, stirring and browning until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  7. Add the pomegranate juice and broth, stir, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  8. Bring to a boil and add apple pieces
  9. Simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes, until the volume is reduced by half.
  10. Add honey to the skillet and stir into sauce
  11. Place the browned chicken pieces in a casserole dish large enough to accommodate all 8 pieces
  12. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked through (160°F for white meat and 175°F for dark meat).