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    UFCW Blog

May 21, 2018

UFCW Statement on Bipartisan Defeat of Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marc Perrone, international president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), released the following statement regarding the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), also known as the Farm Bill, failing to pass the U.S. House of Representatives.

“This Farm Bill was flawed and deserved to be defeated.

“The most common jobs in our country are retail jobs where work schedules are uncertain and vary widely from week to week. If this bill had become law, someone who works hard could have lost access to food simply because their employer cut their hours.

“We urge members of Congress to go back to the drawing board, and work together to craft a Farm Bill that doesn’t punish hard-working families, protects jobs, and actually makes life better in the communities we call home.”

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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.

May 18, 2018

Time to Save and Splash at America’s Favorite Theme Parks

For many amusement parks around the country, Memorial Day weekend kicks off the start to the full season. If you’re planning your family’s next adventure, don’t forget your UFCW membership gives you discounts on some of the most popular parks in the country, such as:

WALT DISNEY WORLD ® RESORT – BUY A 4 DAY TICKET – GET THE 5TH DAY FREE!

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT™ – BUY 5 DAYS FOR THE PRICE OF 3 DAYS!

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD – SAVE UP TO 25%

DISNEYLAND®

KNOTT’S BERRY FARM – SAVE UP TO 45%

SEAWORLD ORLANDO – SAVE OVER 45%

BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA BAY – SAVE OVER 30%

SEAWORLD SAN DIEGO – AQUATICA,

SEAWORLD’S WATERPARK SAN DIEGO – SAVE OVER 25%

SEAWORLD SAN ANTONIO – SAVE OVER 25% ON FLEX TICKETS

SESAME PLACE – LANGHORNE, PA – SAVE OVER 45%

LEGOLAND® FLORIDA RESORT – SAVE OVER 35%

LEGOLAND® CALIFORNIA RESORT – CARLSBAD, CA – SAVE UP TO 45% – MUST VISIT BY JULY 1ST

WHITE WATER BAY – SAVE OVER 30% ON ONE DAY ADMISSION!

FRONTIER CITY THEME PARK – SAVE OVER 30% ON ONE DAY ADMISSION!

WET ‘N’ WILD PALM SPRINGS –SAVE UP TO 30% ON GENERAL ADMISSION!

DOLLYWOOD & DOLLYWOOD’S SPLASH COUNTRY WATERPARK – BUY NOW AND SAVE OVER 10%

REGISTER FOR DISCOUNTS

May 16, 2018

UFCW Endorses Poor People’s Campaign Revival

Week two of the Poor People’s Campaign (5/21 – 5/26) is themed “Linking Systemic Racism and Poverty: Voting Rights and Immigration.” UFCW members around the country, from Washington state to Boston and Harrisburg, joined allies to bring attention to these issues that are affecting Americans from all corners of the U.S.

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, The Poor People’s 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.

“The Poor People’s Campaign believes, as our union family does, that our economy can and should work better for everyone,” said Marc Perrone, president of the UFCW International, in a statement of support he made in April.

“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.”

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 40 days of action, which will conclude with a mass mobilization at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, June 23.

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.

 

 

May 16, 2018

UFCW Statement on Amazon Expanding Cashierless Stores

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marc Perrone, international president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), released the following statement regarding news that Amazon Go stores, which replace cashiers with technology, would be opening in Chicago and San Francisco.

“This isn’t about technology or convenience, this is about Amazon’s and Jeff Bezos’ greed.

“Amazon’s unchecked expansion of this job-killing store concept should be of great concern to everyone who lives and works in America.

“It is time for elected leaders to stop being fooled by Amazon’s HQ2 search and see this company for what it really is – a monopoly that threatens millions of American jobs and hard-working families.”

BACKGROUND

According to Bloomberg, the Amazon Go store concept saves customers just 50 seconds and employs up to three fewer people compared with the average U.S. convenience store.

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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.

 

May 14, 2018

UFCW Helps to Stamp Out Hunger in Communities Across the Country

On May 12, the UFCW once again partnered with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) to sponsor the 26th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive—the largest single-day food drive in the world—and helped to collect millions of pounds of non-perishable food made by union members for local food banks. The UFCW has served as a national sponsor of the NALC’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive for the past three years. In that time, the food drive has collected more than 150 million pounds of food.

Nationally, an estimated 42 million Americans, or one in six, struggle with food insecurity, which is defined as not knowing where the next meal is coming from. Over 13 million children are living in a food insecure household, and 5.4 million seniors currently face hunger in our country. The consequences of food insecurity are profound, and contribute to developmental problems for children, and depression among adults, especially seniors.

This food drive has been a way for our union family to address food insecurity in our country and show our friends, neighbors and community members that we care and they are not alone.

Here are a few images from this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive:

May 10, 2018

UFCW Statement on White House AI Summit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), released the following statement regarding the White House bringing major U.S. companies together for a summit about artificial intelligence (AI).

“The threat of joblessness due to increased automation is massive and it is beyond time we all came together to discuss solutions.

To most companies, the desire to automate jobs is not about increasing productivity or improving the service experience; it’s about maximizing profit by eliminating labor costs.

A strong and functioning society does not exist unless there are jobs for people to earn a living, support a family and build a better life.

We hope today’s summit is a start towards harnessing technology so that it creates better jobs and an economy that enriches us all, rather than a chosen few.”

BACKGROUND

  • A report by McKinsey Global Institute predicts that automation could eliminate up to 73 million jobs by 2030.
  • A report by Cornerstone Capital Group found that nearly 50 percent of today’s 16 million retail jobs could be replaced by automation in the coming decade.
  • A report by PwC concluded that automated robots could replace four in ten U.S. jobs.

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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.

May 8, 2018

Have you thanked a third shift worker?

From stocking shelves to providing late-night medical care, when the rest of the world goes to sleep, many UFCW members’ work days are just getting started.

Last year on National Third Shift Workers Day (celebrated on the second Wednesday in May), to recognize the hard work and sacrifice made by those who work overnight to keep our communities running smoothly, International President Marc Perrone surprised several UFCW Local 2008 members at Kroger in Little Rock, Arkansas, with a late night visit in honor of National Third Shift Workers Day.

“To our members, and everyone who works through the night so that we can all enjoy the day – thank you,” said Perrone. “Thank you for making our communities better and for making a real difference in so many lives across this nation.”

UFCW International President Marc Perrone and Steve T. Gelios, president of UFCW Local 2008, with UFCW Local 2008 third shift workers at a Little Rock, Arkansas, Kroger.

Mark Ramos, president of UFCW Local 1428 in California, was also burning the midnight oil and visiting stores overnight to personally thank the hard-working men and women of the third shift for all they do.

“I was on third shift for 14 years when I worked in the stores,” said Ramos. “When I first started working nights, it took a few months to get used to it. You know, you never really get 8 hours of sleep. I’d take two naps instead. You learn to make it work.”

Ramos preferred to work third shift because the predictable schedule and hours let him take care of his kids and spend more time with his family during the day. The same applies for many of the members he spoke with during his visits.

“They are amazing folks. Most of them have families, and they work and then go home and do other things. The working moms who work that shift are some of the most incredible, courageous workers I know.”

 According to multiple studies, shift work is hard on both the body and mind. The risk of workplace injuries, obesity and depression are all increased if a person works overnight. Studies also suggest that third shift work impacts hormones that regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn lead to a higher risk of serious health conditions, like heart disease and diabetes.

Despite these risks, there is no federal law requiring third shift workers to be provided with any extra pay or benefits. But in UFCW contracts all across the country, we negotiate premium pay for third shift workers to help provide them with the better life they’ve earned and deserve.

“Thank you for recognizing us,” said Beverly Martin, a UFCW Local 8-Golden State member who works at Savemart in California. “I work the third shift and have for six years now. We get looked-over for a lot of things.”

 “I provide Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holiday dinners for my fellow night crew members,” Martin went on to say. “By the time it’s our lunch, the food from the daytime party is gone or there’s not enough to go around. It may not seem like much to a day worker, but little things like that can really help to build up our team at night. So, here’s to those of us who work at night.”

May 3, 2018

Over 6,500 Pork Plant Workers Tell the USDA to Keep Line Speeds Safe

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Over 6,500 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union family who work in pork plants submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in opposition to a proposed rule that would increase the line speeds where they work, threatening both them and the consumers they serve. Marc Perrone, international president of the UFCW, released the following statement as the comment period for this rule ended:

“The American people and our members are clear – faster line speeds in pork plants will lead to more workplace injuries and less safe food.

“The hard-working professionals employed in America’s pork plants are united in opposition to this proposed rule because they know better than anyone the harmful effects of increasing production speeds.

“We urge the USDA to hear their voices and rewrite this rule so that the people who work in pork plants and the millions they serve can all be kept safe.”

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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.

 

May 1, 2018

UFCW members are proud to make the Kentucky Derby’s “Garland of Roses”

Since 1987, the talented men and women of UFCW Local 227 in Kentucky have been hand-crafting the delicate “Garland of Roses” awarded to the winning horse of the annual Kentucky Derby. The garland has been an iconic part of the Kentucky Derby traditions since 1932.

“I’m excited to be part of the team that makes the Garland of Roses,” said UFCW Local 227 member Leigh Wheeler.  “It takes about 14 hours and every rose has to be perfect. Derby is a wonderful tradition in our state and our union family works hard to make you and your family proud.”

 

 

April 26, 2018

UFCW Statement on Federal Court Ruling DACA Elimination Unlawful

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), responded to a federal judge ruling that the Trump administration’s elimination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was unlawful and that new applications must be accepted if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cannot provide a legally sufficient explanation for termination within 90 days.

The UFCW joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)’s suit, along with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), as co-plaintiffs against President Trump, Attorney General Jefferson Sessions, DHS Secretary Elaine Duke, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security in September 2017.

“Protecting people who’ve earned the right to live here is what DACA is truly about. Ending DACA was always the wrong choice to make for our communities, workplaces, and neighborhoods.

“Today’s decision shows how important it is to stand up and fight for millions of young people and their families who make this country better every day.

“Our union family will not rest until Congress delivers a bipartisan, sensible legislative fix to end this nightmare of uncertainty for DACA recipients and TPS holders.”

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The UFCW is 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.