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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 

December 25, 2017

Thank you for your hard work this holiday season

For those of us fortunate enough to be able to sit down and spend time with our loved ones, let’s pause to be thankful for the holiday heroes whose hard work and dedication help make possible the traditions and warm memories we make year after year.

UFCW members are the heart behind the holiday brands we’ve all come to love—brands like Butterball, Boar’s Head, Hanover, Reddi-Wip. For those who work in food processing, their knowledge and expertise help ensure the turkey that makes its way to your grocery store has been properly prepared and is safe to eat, and their skilled quality control makes sure Stove Top Stuffing and Marie Callender’s pies will taste just like you remembered.

UFCW members also sacrifice time with their families to keep Albertsons, Kroger, Safeway, Giant, and so many other union grocery stores open during the holidays. We know they’ve saved countless holiday feasts from disaster by making sure families across America can make that last minute run to the grocery store if they need to.

For those of us fortunate enough to be able to sit down and spend time with our loved ones, let’s pause to be thankful for the holiday heroes whose hard work and dedication help make possible the traditions and warm memories we make year after year.

From our family to yours, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

 

 

December 21, 2017

UFCW: It’s Time for the Poultry Industry to Draw a Line on Forced and Exploited Labor

For Immediate Release

December 21, 2017 Contact: press@ufcw.org

UFCW: It’s Time for the Poultry Industry to Draw a Line on Forced and Exploited Labor

America’s Poultry Union Calls for Chicken Council to Make the Use of Underage and Incarcerated Workers Unacceptable in America’s Poultry Plants

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union today called on the National Chicken Council (NCC), the voice of the poultry industry, to set higher industry standards and stop the use of forced and exploited labor by their member companies. In a letter to the NCC, Marc Perrone, international president of the UFCW, called on the NCC to take the lead in establishing a clear industry standard and give consumers confidence that their chicken is produced without these inhumane practices.

This is not responsible or moral behavior,” said Perrone in the letter, “and as a leading voice of the poultry industry, it would make a difference if the National Chicken Council condemned these practices publicly and insisted on all of your member companies to do the same by agreeing to a code of conduct that puts an end to this reprehensible behavior.”

While more than 70,000 hard-working members of the UFCW family work in the poultry industry and earn better wages and benefits, the conditions in nonunion plants are far worse. A recent Oxfam report highlighted the struggles faced by nonunion poultry workers, including wearing diapers at work because they are routinely denied bathroom breaks. In addition, the industry has repeated problems with the use of incarcerated labor, underage workers and workers with disabilities being paid less than a minimum wage.

The fact that some of your member companies have continued to operate in such an irresponsible manner is bringing shame upon the entire poultry industry and devaluing the skilled work of hundreds of thousands of hard-working men and women,” said Perrone. “This disgraceful practice also damages the reputation of responsible companies and our members who have good jobs working in poultry plants.”

Read the complete letter online here.

Background:

  • Poultry work is dangerous with worker illness rates five times higher than the average worker.
  • Companies that have used incarcerated or prison labor include Koch Foods and Crider Foods.
  • Underage workers have been found at Case Farms and Agriprocessors.
  • Workers with disabilities were paid subminimum wages at West Liberty Foods for decades.
  • Simmons Foods continues to run a billion dollar “rehabilitation” program that offers no actual rehabilitation to those suffering from addiction or seeking to avoid recidivism, but requires them to work for free.
December 18, 2017

Winter Driving Tips from a Pro

Part of staying safe on the road means being prepared. When the temperature drops, the safest thing to do is stay home during unsafe weather conditions. But knowing what to do in an emergency if you get stuck out on the roads could save your life.

UFCW Local 1996 member John Cunningham is a CDL driver at JBS/Pilgrim Pride of Athens with 26 years of professional commercial driving experience. With over 1.3 million miles of commercial driving during his career, John knows a thing or two about driving in adverse weather conditions.

 

Here are a few of his tips for a safer winter driving experience on snow or ice:

1) “First of all, if you don’t have to be out and about, DON’T go out. Stay home. Driving on ice and snow is treacherous for everybody, including those with experience driving on it.”

2) “If you do decide to go out, make sure you have a few supplies in case something happens. This list can include but is not limited to: candy or peanuts, non perishable food, extra clothing, boots, a flash light, a full tank of gas if possible, at least a couple of blankets, and a bright piece of cloth or reflective cloth. This is just a partial list of things you may want to have on hand. There are more items that you could keep on hand. You can use your best judgment or look to the internet for suggestions.”

3) “If you make it out on the road, drive slowly. During slick or icy conditions it does not pay to get in a hurry. Increase your following distance to at least twice, maybe three times, the distance it would be during ideal, dry conditions. Accelerate and decelerate slowly.”

 

4) “Bridges will inevitably freeze BEFORE the roadway. I start being wary when roads are wet and temperatures start getting around 34 degrees as I have seen bridges start to get slick around that temperature. If you can see ice forming on your mirrors, bridges are probably freezing with roadways not far behind.”

5) “Don’t get cocky in a 4 wheel drive or all wheel drive vehicle. They can give a driver a false sense of security when driving during these conditions.”

6) “If the rear of your car starts to slide, gently let off of your accelerator and turn your wheel in the direction of the slide to help correct the situation. Try not to panic as that can be one of the worst things you can do because you will not think clearly. Easy to say I know, but it can be done.”

Stay safe out there!

December 15, 2017

Save up to 24% on movie tickets with your UFCW membership

For many families, going to the movies together over the holidays is a winter tradition. Because of your UFCW membership, you are eligible to receive discounts on those movie tickets, so don’t forget to register for Union Plus to order your eTickets before you go.

Save up to 24% off at your choice of three national movie theater chains:

  • AMC Theaters — Save 22% on AMC® Green eTicket*. Order Online, Print & Redeem.
  • Regal Cinemas — Save 24% on Premiere Print-At-Home eTickets (Any Movie – Anytime) with No Expiration Date.
  • Cinemark Theaters — Save 10% on Cinemark’s Platinum e-Supersaver eTicket with No Expiration Date. Order Online, Print and Redeem.

 

>>> REGISTER/LOGIN AND START SAVING

December 12, 2017

UFCW to USDA: GAO Report Proves Poultry Industry’s Push to End Line Speed Limits Is Dangerous

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, as well as leaders of the U.S. Senate and House Agriculture Committees, that explains why a recent petition by the National Chicken Council to eliminate line speeds at poultry plants must be rejected. The letter cites last week’s report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on safety and health in the poultry industry as confirmation of the UFCW’s concerns.

An excerpt from President Perrone’s letter can be read below.

If this petition is accepted, poultry companies will be allowed to run their food processing lines as fast as they please. Allowing this to occur will put hard-working poultry workers at greater risk of being injured and consumers at greater risk of becoming ill from eating improperly inspected chicken.

Read the full letter here.

BACKGROUND

  • The GAO report confirmed that America’s meat and poultry industry is forcing workers to endure dangerous conditions, including amputation hazards, exposure to harmful chemicals, and fast-paced repetitive tasks that often lead to musculoskeletal disorders.
  • The report supported findings by Oxfam that poultry workers struggle to get adequate bathroom breaks at current line speed limits, even to the point of endangering their health.
  • Other GAO reports in 2005 and 2016 also found significant problems with safety and health in the poultry industry.
  • In addition to worker risks, countries with higher line speeds have higher rates of foodborne contamination in poultry plants.

 

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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

December 12, 2017

What do latkes and geese have in common?

1.) Eating latkes during Hanukkah has ties to the seasonal slaughtering of geese

Foods cooked in oil are traditionally associated with the holiday because of the religious symbolism, but one theory for why latkes became popular at this time of year (other than being delicious) had to do with the seasonal availability of cooking oil for common people.

“Let’s examine the real history of latkes. First, the recipe was not created until the end of the 18th or early 19th century. Although potatoes were introduced to Europe in the 16th century, it took close to two hundred years before the edible tuber made its way from animal fodder to prison food, and then to sustenance for the masses, especially the poor. The real reason for latkes is explained by the traditional activity of slaughtering the geese in early December.

For three months before slaughter, geese were slowly and methodically fed at increasing intervals and quantities to fatten them to excess. In fact, it was French Jews who were most influential in the foie gras industry because of this knowledge. Goose feathers and down were used for warmth, the meat was preserved as a confit for winter consumption, and goose fat was rendered to provide cooking oil for most of the year. Even a poor person could find a potato in the field, an onion in the cellar, and some of the precious, newly-rendered goose fat to create the Hanukkah culinary story of ‘Neis gadol hayah sham’―A great miracle happened there.”

Source: “Why Do We Eat Latkes at Hanukkah?,” Tina Wasserman

2.  Applesauce vs. Sour Cream

Some people prefer the sweetness of applesauce with their latkes, while others opt for savory sour cream. But why the divide? Other than taste preferences, since latkes are traditionally served at dinnertime and often with a meaty meal like brisket, families who keep kosher wouldn’t eat their latkes with a dairy product like sour cream because you can’t have beef and dairy in the same meal.

But dairy products have also been traditionally associated with Hanukkah, hence the popularity of eating them with sour cream. In fact, early latkes weren’t made from potatoes, but were made from cheese:

Of course we associate potato latkes with Hanukkah, but in reality latkes descends from Italian pancakes that were made with ricotta cheese. The first connection between Hanukkah and pancakes was made by a rabbi in Italy named Rabbi Kalonymus ben Kalonymus (c. 1286-1328). According to The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food by Gil Marks, the Rabbi included pancakes “in a list of dishes to serve at an idealized Purim feast, as well as a poem about Hanukkah. After the Spanish expelled the Jews from Sicily in 1492, the exiles introduced their ricotta cheese pancakes, which were called cassola in Rome, to the Jews of northern Italy. Consequently, cheese pancakes, because they combined the two traditional types of foods–fried and dairy–became a natural Hanukkah dish.”

Potato latkes are a more recent Ashkenazi invention that gained popularity in Eastern Europe during the mid 1800′s. A series of crop failures in Poland and the Ukraine led to mass planting of potatoes, which were easy and cheap to grow. But before potatoes came on the scene, the latke of choice was cheese.

Source: “Discover the History of Latkes During Hanukkah,” Tori Avey

3. Brisket

Brisket makes a regular appearance on many family tables during the holiday. Brisket is kosher because it is from the front of the animal, and because of the lengthy cooking time needed to soften the cut, it makes for a perfect special occasion meal.

Source: “Briskey: The Holy Grail of Jewish Food,” Molly Yeh

4. Brisket prices have about doubled over the past decade, but there are still cheaper cuts that can be just as good if prepared correctly.

Why has brisket gotten so expensive? “You only get a couple pieces off an animal,” says Jon Viner, a UFCW member with more than 30 years of meat cutting knowledge. “And the cost of beef is up right now. I would suggest a chuck roast and cooking it slow, instead. It’s a moist cut, the next thing in line as you’re processing beef chuck.”

If you are looking for a crowd-pleasing recipe to help you prepare that chuck roast, try this French Style Braised Beef adapted from James Peterson’s “Essentials of Cooking.”

5. Union Made Hanukkah

Whether its helping customers shop for seasonal goods or making the foods we enjoy during the holidays, UFCW members are proud to be part of the traditions that are so important to our communities. Keep your eyes out for these UFCW-made products:

December 8, 2017

A Florist Explains How to Make a Holiday Topiary

Watch United Food and Commercial Workers International Union’s (UFCW) Michelle show you how to create a holiday topiary—great for holiday gatherings or as a special gift for someone you care about.

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