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February 22, 2017

UFCW Celebrates Black History Month: Bayard Rustin–An Overlooked Champion of Civil and Labor Rights

One of the greatest moments of the Civil Rights era was the March on Washington in 1963–one of the largest non-violent protests to ever occur in America. The March on Washington brought thousands of people of all races together, in the name of equal rights for everyone–whether they were black or white, rich or poor, Muslim or Christian. Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. made one of his most inspiring and famous speeches at the march, which culminated on the National mall.

But history has often overlooked the man who was the driving force behind this monumental event–a man named Bayard Rustin. Rustin was the one who organized the march, bringing methods used by Gandhi as well as the Quaker religion to Washington to ensure peace, but also impact. It was Rustin who helped shape Dr. King into the iconic symbol of peace he is remembered as.

As a young adult, Rustin worked with many kinds of people who influenced his activism, including ministers and labor organizers. During World War II, Rustin fought against racial discrimination in war-related hiring, and was later jailed for two years after refusing to enter the draft. Then, after protesting segregated transit systems, he was sentenced to work on a chain gang for several weeks.

Despite being punished for his beliefs, Rustin continued to work towards changing things for the better. In 1953, Bayard Rustin arrived in Montgomery, Alabama to partake in the famous bus boycott that kicked off after Rosa Parks was arrested after refusing to give up her seat on the bus for a white man. The boycott brought many civil rights leaders to the area, including a young Dr. Martin Luther King, who had not yet embraced non-violence. But Rustin taught many who were partaking in the boycott how Gandhi had used peaceful tactics to bring change in India, and people saw the importance of these tactics, and began to embrace them, focusing on direct protest.

Rustin was also a champion of workers rights. In 1965, Rustin and his mentor A. Philip Randolph co-founded the A. Philip Randolph Institute, a labor organization for African-American trade union members. Much of his work emphasized that labor rights were an integral part of the civil rights movement.

Although Bayard Rustin was a tireless activist, his life achievements are unknown to many, and he has even been called the “lost prophet” of the civil rights movement. This is largely because not only was Rustin silenced and threatened like many others were for being a black man speaking out for equal rights, but also because he was openly gay in a time when homophobia and bigotry was rampant. Rustin continued his life as an openly gay man, even after being incarcerated for it, and is seen as a champion of the LGBT movement still today. Despite being beaten, arrested, jailed, and fired from various leadership positions, Rustin overcame and made a huge impact on the civil and economic rights movements.

America has a long way to go before Rustin’s dreams of equal human rights for all are achieved, but without him, we perhaps would not be where we are today. Today, we have a black president, more women in leadership positions, and more of legislation in the states overturning old and outdated laws barring gay couples from marrying. These are just a few examples of the progress our country has made since Rustin’s time, and working people will continue to work so that ALL people have equal rights–at work and at home.

February 16, 2017

UFCW Statement on Alexander Acosta

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union, made the following statement about Alexander Acosta being nominated to be Secretary of Labor.

“If confirmed as Secretary of Labor, Mr. Acosta’s top priority will be protecting the rights of all men and women. Hard-working families need and deserve a labor secretary who will push for and implement policies that will turn the tide against declining wages and rising income inequality.

“It’s critical for the person running the Department of Labor to be willing and able to be a champion for all workers, including our members, who deserve and have earned a better life. In the coming days and weeks, we will be reviewing Mr. Acosta’s positions and past statements to see how they’ve impacted UFCW members, their families and all hard-working men and women.”

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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

February 16, 2017

UFCW Statement on “A Day Without Immigrants”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union, made the following statement about hard-working employees and employers across the U.S. standing together in “A Day Without Immigrants,” which calls attention to the vital role immigrants play in every community.

“Immigrants make incredible contributions to our lives, communities, and country each day. Today, we are asking Americans to honor that contribution and pay attention to what is at stake.”

“From the beginning of this nation, immigrant workers from all over the world have come to this country to work hard and build a better life. Yet, many workers, and many UFCW members continue to suffer from the effects of our broken immigration system.

“Our Union family has seen firsthand the damage that irresponsible employers can cause through exploitive labor practices that hurt immigrants, and drive down wages, benefits and working conditions for all workers. It is time for Congressional leaders to finally see and hear the calls for change and put forth common-sense immigration reform that will end this crisis.”

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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

February 16, 2017

UFCW Member Retires After 30 Years of Service

After 30 years of service to her union, long-time UFCW Local 1445 member Janice Feinberg says her mantra is to spread the word about what being part of union family means, and what it has meant to her.

“My husband calls me Norma Rae,” Janice jokes, recalling the role played by Sally Field in the famous movie about a factory worker advocating for union representation on the job.

Now 73 years old, Janice has been serving her community as a retail employee for the past three decades, as well as a UFCW member. Beginning her career at Filene’s, she is now retiring from Macy’s.

Janice notes that it was being a part of the UFCW and working with the caring people at her local union that enabled her to have such a long and steady career.

“When I was younger, I had a manager that took a disliking to me for some reason. She treated me horribly. Some people said there was nothing I could do, but when I told the union about it, they grieved it right away. When I was instructed to ‘watch’ my fellow employees and report back to management behind their backs, I refused and was fired, but the union got my job back. When I recently told my manager that I would be retiring, I inquired about the vacation pay I’d be getting, since I haven’t used my days. She untruthfully told me I wasn’t owed a thing, but Jim and the union made sure I was rewarded the vacation pay I earned, that’s protected in our contracts.”

After the experience she’s had, says Janice, “I would never work a non-union job.” Over the course of her time at Macy’s, Janice was offered other positions that were closer to her home, but she turned them down when hearing they weren’t union jobs.

Janice has noticed that oftentimes, her coworkers are afraid of speaking up on the job because they are scared of repercussions, but she wants everyone to know they don’t have to be afraid to speak up with the UFCW there to back them up. “I want to tell my story because I believe that more people should be aware of the value that being part of a union brings—people need to take advantage of that! Under the umbrella of the union,” she says, “we can all stand together as associates.”

Not only has her union family helped Janice ensure she can take her vacation when she needs to, and receive the benefits she deserves for her many years of service and loyalty, but it has also given her people who she calls friends for life: “The people I saw and worked with every day are a big part of my life. I have customers that came in as children visit me now with their own babies.”

Janice is certainly ready to enjoy her hard-earned retirement, and looks forward to spending time with her husband and daughters—but she looks back on her job and time as a union member with fond memories. “Knowing that the union would have my back in an instant was so wonderful. But if you don’t speak up, they can’t help you! If you do, they’ll listen and take action. When I was a young worker, I was a quiet person. But now I have a voice, and am not afraid to speak up for myself, and for others.”

We are thankful for people like Janice in our union family, and wish her luck in her next chapter!

February 15, 2017

UFCW Statement on Andrew Puzder

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union, made the following statement about Andrew Puzder withdrawing his nomination for labor secretary.    

“Given recent reports that have come to light, it is clear that Mr. Puzder’s values were not the values of hard-working families. His withdrawal proves that the American people still have a voice and the power to shape our government.  

“Now, the question is who comes next? 

“Whomever the nominee for labor secretary is, they must respect the rights of all hard-working men and women. They must realize that their job is not to protect the interests of irresponsible corporations, but to protect the rights of all workers, including our members, who deserve and have earned a better life.” 

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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.

February 14, 2017

Valentine’s Day Tips from the Pros

A little bubbly goes with everything.

Rob Peters, UFCW Local 1776 member and Wine Specialist, Fine Wine & Good Spirits store 4646 in Ardmore, PA says “When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I always recommend sparkling wine because it is popular, versatile and celebratory, i.e. ‘pop the cork.’ Sparkling wine can be used at any time before, during or after dinner.”


There are many varieties of sparkling wine, but Rob recommends sparkling wines from California, Prosecco from Italy or the classic: champagne from France.

Chocolate is always a winner.

When you give a box of Russell Stover, Ghiradelli chocolate or Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses, know they taste a little sweeter because they are made with love by talented UFCW members. Making chocolates is an art form, one your Valentine is sure to love.

UFCW members who make See’s candies craft each chocolate confection by hand. More care and expertise is needed than you might think. Take a look at what goes into the making of these tasty treats and get a glimpse inside the plant where Lucy and Ethel of the classic TV show “I Love Lucy” found out they couldn’t quite hack it:

Say it with Flowers

Feel a bit lost in the floral department? Our members work as florists in grocery stores across the country and are happy to help you put together a bouquet.

And if you are a UFCW member yourself, remember you can save 25% on flowers from Teleflora year round.

Discount Includes:

  • 25% discount on flowers & gifts per order
  • Same-day flower delivery service (If ordered before 2 p.m. Monday-Friday or 12 p.m. Saturday or Sunday in recipient’s time zone)
  • Unconditional 100% satisfaction guarantee on a wide selection of expertly designed flower arrangements, gifts, green and blooming plants and wreaths
  • International service (with three-day delivery guarantee; orders for delivery outside the U.S. and Canada taken by phone only.)

Your 25% discount should be applied automatically. If you encounter any issues accessing your 25% discount, simply type BAAUP25 in the Promotion Code box during checkout.

SEND SOMETHING SPECIAL!
ORDER ONLINE OR CALL 888-667-7779

February 9, 2017

Spoil Your Valentine with 25% Off Flowers and Gifts

Save 25% on Flowers and Gifts for Every Occasion

Order beautiful flower arrangements and gift baskets through Teleflora and make someone’s Valentine’s Day.

UFCW Members save 25% all year round on Teleflora flowers and GiftTree gift baskets — your discount will be automatically applied at  checkout.

Promotion code: BAAUP25

You can get the best bouquet for your buck, just order the Deal of the Day.  Let expert florists handpick the freshest, most beautiful flowers to create one-of-a-kind arrangements, all at an affordable price.

Discount Includes:

  • 25% discount on flowers & gifts per order
  • Same-day flower delivery service (If ordered before 2 p.m. Monday-Friday or 12 p.m. Saturday or Sunday in recipient’s time zone)
  • Unconditional 100% satisfaction guarantee on a wide selection of expertly designed flower arrangements, gifts, green and blooming plants and wreaths
  • International service (with three-day delivery guarantee; orders for delivery outside the U.S. and Canada taken by phone only.)

Your 25% discount should be applied automatically. If you encounter any issues accessing your 25% discount, simply type BAAUP25 in the Promotion Code box during checkout.

SEND SOMETHING SPECIAL!
ORDER ONLINE OR CALL 888-667-7779

February 8, 2017

UFCW Charity Foundation Now Accepting Scholarship Applicants

Looking to further your education? The UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship is now accepting applications from UFCW members and their families.

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.

Here are last year’s winners:

Region 1:

Local 152 – Ana Grace Fangayen

Ana is now attending New York University in Manhattan, New York and is studying Film and Television.

Region 2:

Local 23 – Katrina Good

Katrina is now attending Lock Haven University for a major in Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Psychology.

Region 4:

Local 880 – Jocelyn Bernstein

Jocelyn is now attending the University of Rochester.

Region 5:

Local 2005 – Hannah McDonald

Hannah is now attending Harding University in Arkansas for a Nursing degree, because she’s always liked helping and caring for others, and has always wanted to save a life.

Region 6:

Local 655 – Douglas Fritz

Douglas is attending Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO and studying biology, pre-med.

Region 7:

Local 7R – Karen Emanuelson

Karen currently attends the Keller Williams school for Real Estate in Colorado Springs.  After she finishes her exams, she plans to study possibly German or History at Pikes Peak Community College or University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Region 8:

Local 99 – Tamana Hussaini

Tamana is now attending Mount Holyoke College for a Pre-med. degree, because it’s a great field that combines science and working with others.

UFCW Canada:

Local 1288P – Sarah Gowlett

Sarah is now attending University of New Brunswick St. John for a Bachelor of Business Administration, because she’s always liked organization and numbers.

February 4, 2017

Super Bowl Sunday Second Highest Day of Food Consumption

Aside from Thanksgiving, Americans eat more on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day. UFCW members in grocery stores and in food processing plants across the country have been working hard to prep the meats, cheese trays, deli sandwiches, veggie platters and other great game day snacks we all love.

“This is one of the busiest times of the year for my store,” said Earl Greenlawn, a member of UFCW Local 367 who works at Kroger. “Leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, my co-workers and I put in long hours preparing food and helping customers plan their menus. We love knowing that our hard work makes it easy for people to enjoy the game with their friends and family.”

So what exactly is everyone eating during the Big Game?

1. A whole bunch of wings. Like, 1.33 BILLION wings.

Collectively, American shoppers are predicted to consume enough wings this Super Bowl that if the entire population of the United States came over for snacks, everybody could each eat four wings and there would still be plenty of leftovers.

How many wings is 1.33 billion? So many wings, that if an NFL player ate two wings per minute, it would take him 1,265 years, 80 days, 7 hours and 12 minutes to eat them all.

Curious about what happens to the rest of the chicken?

2. Ranch Dressing

We’re guessing this isn’t for salads. If you needed more reasons to love ranch dressing, not only was it invented by a cowboy, but UFCW members make Hidden Valley Ranch.

3. Pizza.

The Super Bowl is the busiest day of the year for pizza take out. But it’s not just take out— January also has the highest sales of frozen pizza, in part from shoppers stockpiling grub for their Super Bowl parties. Pizza delivery drivers— our hearts are with you. Godspeed.

4. Chips

According to Nielsen, Americans spend $277 million on potato chips and $225 million on tortilla chips in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.

5. Avocados

Avocados are a superfood. We don’t have to feel guilty about the avocados, right? Even if we eat 104.9 million pounds of them?

Holy guacamole!

February 3, 2017

UFCW Members Make the Leather for Every Super Bowl Football

Did you know the leather for every single NFL football, including the ones that will be used in this Sunday’s Super Bowl, is crafted in Chicago, IL by members of UFCW Local 1546, who work at the Horween Leather Company? The hard-working men and women of the Horween Leather Company have been supplying the leather for every Super Bowl football since the very first in 1967.

“It doesn’t just take a high-level of skill to throw a football, it takes a lot of talent to make one too,” said Earl Ferguson, a machine operator and UFCW Local 1546 member at Horween Leather Company. “ We’re proud that our hard work contributes value to something as big as the Super Bowl.”

Take a peak inside the historic plant and learn more about how the leather is made in this video.